LEAGUE CITY, Texas (KTRK) – A man is suing League City after he says police officers arrested and imprisoned him and his wife unjustly more than three weeks ago.
It all started with what they thought was a little bender in a parking lot. But in statements of probable cause, the officers claimed that the couple broke the law.
On Monday, Randall Hall filed a $25 million lawsuit against the city, claiming that the League City Police Department violated his civil rights. When asked why he pursued such a large sum at a Tuesday press conference with family members and lawyers, he told ABC13 he wanted to make a statement to the city and police.
He also pledged to use any proceeds from the case to form an advocacy fund, which would help pay legal fees for people who felt mistreated by law enforcement.
The case began on September 2, when Randall Hall’s wife, Rachel Hall, crashed into a car that was backing up from a spot in the gym’s parking lot. This is where the details get complicated.
Rachel Hall claimed that she left the scene without giving her information because the other driver admitted her mistake. He allegedly told her not to call the police “because many of his family members are in the Houston Police Department and because the accident happened on private property, so in no way would the police come.”
However, according to probable cause statements, the driver called the police after leaving and claimed that Rachel Hall was at fault. He claimed that she did not want to share her information and left the scene. Using a photo the driver had taken of Rachel Hall’s license plate, a University City police officer determined her address and went to her home later that night to ask for her information.
Randall Hall said his wife called him and put him on the phone with the officer. He explained that they were reluctant to give personal information to the police to give to the other driver. He cited safety concerns after a chase incident during a previous car crash.
“My wife was so intimidated by the officer that she called me. I asked him over the phone, as I was in El Campo 90 miles away, either he would file a warrant or I would take it up with the police chief the next day,” Randall Hall said.
In a probable cause statement, the officer wrote, “It is state law to provide information to interested parties if they are involved in an accident with damage.”
He also stated that “after I requested the correct information from Rachel Hall, she refused to tell me her driver’s license and insurance information and only gave me her name and cell phone number.”
After the officer made it clear that he did not want to go through Randall Hall as an intermediary, because he was not involved in the accident. Randall Hall reportedly told his wife that the officer was threatening them, so she entered the house and closed the door.
More than two weeks later, on September 18, two City University police officers issued an arrest warrant at the Hall’s residence and arrested Randall for “interference with public duties.” Rachel was also arrested for “failing to provide information requested in an accident involving damage to a vehicle”.
They were held in League City Jail and forced out the next day. Most worrying, the couple said, was that their four children, ages 10 and 15, were left alone all night.
“We were the biggest proponents of law enforcement until this happened. Our kids are shocked, seeing their parents being arrested, (and) being dragged out of our house. I had no idea what had happened. I had no idea what was going to happen,” Randall said.
The Galveston County District Attorney’s office ultimately refused to sue Randall Hall, citing “the state chooses to proceed with an escort case.” Randall Hall’s attorney, Randall Kalinin, believes his client’s accusation was unreasonable.
“Just to speak on the phone in a polite way with the officer without any obscenity, is in violation of freedom of expression,” Kalinin said.
Rachel Hall’s case is still under review with the DA office. In addition to the $25 million, Randall Hall is also asking for a public apology from the police department and more training for their officers.
In statements to ABC13, both the city and the attorney general’s office stated that they could not comment on the specifics of this case due to ongoing litigation.
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