Houston pleads guilty to amended charges

November 04, 2004|EMILY BURTON

A man alleging police brutality during his June arrest pleaded guilty to amended charges Monday.

Robbie Houston, 43, answered to various misdemeanor charges amended down from the original four counts of second-degree assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

The amended charges - four courts of fourth-degree assault, criminal mischief and resisting arrest - carry a recommended sentence of 12 months in jail, probated for two years.

As part of the plea bargain, Houston also has to pay $670 in fines and costs plus $583 in restitution for a window he broke out of a police cruiser during his arrest.


The charges stem from a June 28 incident when Danville police investigated a complaint of a man, whom they were told was named Houston, sitting in a parking lot with a gun.

Houston alleges the four officers kneed and punched him, beat him with a metal baton and sprayed him with a chemical spray while arresting him outside Parkside East Apartments. Houston was taken into custody and later released on a $500 cash bond.

Lawsuit threatened

Houston and his attorney, Willie Peale of Frankfort, have threatened to file a complaint against the Danville Police Department.

"We need to make that decision some time in the future before the statute runs out," one year after the event, said Peale.

But his client's plea won't hurt the case, Peale said, "not anymore than what the facts are already."

"The police used excessive force in the manner in which they handled the contact with Mr. Houston," said Peale.

"It never should have escalated to the point it did," he said, and wouldn't have if the responding officers would have properly investigated the situation before acting.

Peale added that the city could learn from the incident. "This is a key opportunity for leaders of the community to come together to look at the facts and try to avoid similar situations in the future."

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