SEABROOK, Texas (KTRK) -- The now-former Seabrook Police Chief Sean Wright made his first court appearance and spoke for the first time months after he was charged with assaulting a 19-year-old over a gym bag.
Wright and his attorney said they are confident about their plan to take the case to trial and look forward to their day in court, where his side can be told.
In January, Wright was charged with a Class C misdemeanor for assault. According to records, Wright accused the young man of stealing his gym bag outside a Webster gym. Police say the bag was later found inside.
The victim, who wanted to stay anonymous, claimed Wright followed him out of the gym, pushed him around, and pinned him against the car.
"After he pulled me out of the vehicle, I was trying to get him off me, but he kept pushing me against my chest," he said.
ABC13's Brooke Taylor asked the former chief if there was anything he had to say to the community after staying tight-lipped for months.
"There are two sides to every story," Wright said. "I deserve due process. That's what I am seeking."
Wright's attorney, Dan Krieger, acknowledged it has been difficult for Wright to go from the chief to the now-accused.
"Sean has had an entire lifetime in law enforcement," Krieger said. "He has decades of experience, and we would hope people would withhold judgment until he has his day in court. It's not a role he welcomes or wants, but it is certainly the role he has been pushed, and he is willing to defend himself and protect his rights."
The Seabrook Police Department has yet to answer ABC13's questions about the findings of their internal investigation. After months of pushing the city for his employment status, Eyewitness News got a copy of a separation agreement never meant to be made public, between Wright and the city. The agreement allowed him a voluntary resignation, indicating his intent to retire with a one-time payment of $72,750. In court, he claimed his retirement has nothing to do with the current charge.
"I retired," Wright said. "I am eligible for retirement. We are still in the process. I am retired and accepted retirement benefits. It's time to move forward and let this play out."
Due to a conflict of interest, the case was dismissed from Webster and transferred the Harris County Justice of the Peace (Pct. 8, Place 2). The pre-trial hearing was pushed back Tuesday due to video evidence that Wright and his attorney have not seen yet.
The victim says he, too, wants the case to go to trial.
"I would prefer that since accountability is held up to, he and he could hear how and the effects it has had on me since then," he said. "Before, I used to go to the gym six or seven days a week. It was a way for me to get away. Since then, I lost my passion. I can't go without having to look over my shoulder. Every time I am there, I need to make sure he's not there. It's affected my outlook on everything. I can't just sit in my car anymore."