San Antonio police shot at a man and arrested him in his bathrobe after he called security about a wild teen party in his upscale neighborhood, the man claims in court
Plaintiff Peter T. Conner is a national security consultant, a Department of Defense contractor and a licensed private investigator, he says in his May 13 complaint.
He sued San Antonio, three of its police officers, the Dominion Homeowners Association and G4S Secure Solutions in Bexar County Court.
In the early morning of Father’s Day 2013, after complaining to G4S about a wild party two houses away, Conner says, he was awakened by lights moving in his backyard.
“Believing the intruders to be errant guests from the party, plaintiff donned a bathrobe, went to his garage, turned on the outside floodlight and the lights inside the garage, and opened the three garage doors. Plaintiff then yelled at the intruders to get off of his property,” Conner says in the complaint.
“The next thing plaintiff knew, shots were being fired at him from the intruders. Plaintiff immediately ducked for cover, and the shots hit his vehicle parked just outside the garage. Fearing for his life, plaintiff retreated quickly back inside and closed the garage doors.”
Next thing he saw was flashing lights in his front yard and voices announcing themselves as San Antonio police, to which Conner says he responded, “You better be!”
He says that the police presence “was a surprise to plaintiff since he still believed unknown intruders had fired shots at him.”
“Before plaintiff could speak further, defendant [Officers Ernesto] Juarez and [Cody] Davis handcuffed him and placed him in a squad car, where he sat for well over an hour, still in his robe,” Conner says in the 11-page complaint.
“At no time during the ordeal did plaintiff possess a handgun or make any gestures indicating he was shooting at the intruders,” Conner adds.
Nonetheless, police charged him with aggravated assault on a peace officer and tossed him into the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, where he spent most of Father’s Day, Conner says.
A grand jury refused to indict him, “but the damage to plaintiff’s name and reputation had already been done,” according to the complaint.
Conner says police spread a false story about the June 16, 2013 incident, claiming that he had “crashed a truck through the front gate to his subdivision and had fired upon police officers, which was absolutely false.”
“Given plaintiff’s work in national security, these false stories were extremely damaging to his reputation and have caused him tremendous embarrassment,” the complaint states. “When one Googles plaintiff’s name, the first page of results displays a number of stories indicating that plaintiff fired upon police officers.”
According to the San Antonio Express-News, police reported that Conner “exited the garage in a shooting posture with what (the officers) perceived to be a handgun.” The report says that officers fired three rounds at the suspect, who “then retreated back in to the garage.”
A spokesperson for the City of San Antonio deferred comment to the San Antonio Police Department, which did not respond to a request for comment.
Conner says he also serves as senior adviser for the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law and had “never been in trouble with the law or been arrested prior to the event giving rise to this suit.”
He seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, assault, malicious prosecution and unlawful arrest.
He is represented by Davis C. “Clay” Snell, with Bayne, Snell & Krause.
Published on courthousenews.com