APD officer struck by car sues suspect - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD officer struck by car sues suspect

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An Austin police officer is hit by a car while trying to arrest a suspected drug dealer. Now he's suing the suspect and the suspect's mom.

The incident happened here two weeks ago. Each time an officer is injured tax payers cover the medical bill. Officers are taking action and getting that money back.

Officer Roy Martinez has a broken thumb. One of his arms is banged up and his knee has a nasty gash.

He was injured February 1st when he and other officers attempted to arrest DeShawn McClain at the Valero off MLK and Springdale Road in East Austin.

Officers say McClain repeatedly reversed his car and crashed it into a patrol car. He then struck Martinez. Martinez was launched ten feet in the air. He landed on a concrete curb.

McClain was arrested for aggravated assault on a public servant. When officers searched his car, they say they found enough crack cocaine to make 123 transactions.

Martinez, meanwhile, won't be able to work for six weeks.

"I would expect this to be a $10,000 case as far as the medical expenses and we intend to get all of that money back and pay the city back," said attorney James Wood.

Attorney James Wood represents Martinez. He filed a lawsuit against McClain and McClain's mother Virginia. She is the insured owner of the car. Wood says that's the key.

"A lot of times the police officers aren't even aware that in these situations where you have regular old cars on the road that cause injuries, regular car insurance like you and I have applies in this situation," Wood said.

Two years ago, Wood filed a lawsuit on behalf of Officer Jeffrey Rodriguez whose foot was run over during the officer-involved shooting of Byron Carter Junior.

The medical costs in that case were $3,290.46. Wood won the suit and wrote the city a reimbursement check.

Wood also recently represented a female APD officer injured in a crash with a drunk driver. Medical expenses for that case totaled $8,164.21. He recouped that money as well.

"I do not think police officers should be hurt at work and that he people who hurt them should be able to walk free. I think they should be held responsible for what they do to our police officers," said Wood.

McClain is in the Travis County jail with a $1.75 million bond. When he was arrested, he was on probation for a prior drug conviction.

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