Body cam released of off-duty deputy punching man several times outside Houston restaurant

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A Houston area man is now suing the Harris County Sheriff’s Office after alleging that an off-duty deputy punched him several times at a Houston restaurant two years ago.

The lawsuit alleges that on March 21, 2021, deputies Lee Ingle and Christopher Sutton “grabbed Evan [Norman] and escorted him towards the front door which included pulling on his shirt, pushing, and swear words by Ingle,” after an employee at the restaurant asked him to leave.

The lawsuit claims, “Bombshells served Evan at least seven alcoholic beverages within a two-hour time span.”

While outside, the lawsuit states Norman asked for the badge numbers of both deputies to file a complaint.

“Both Sutton and Ingle were irritated by Evan’s requests for badge numbers,” the lawsuit states. “Ingle then rushed at Evan and took him to the ground and began punching him on the head and face. As he was beating Evan, Sutton was holding Evan down and Sutton was encouraging Ingle to strike Evan. At the time of the beating, Evan was secure and Evan did not attempt to kick, strike, punch, or otherwise assault any person. After the severe beating, Evan was handcuffed.”

Court documents show Norman was charged with assaulting a peace officer for the incident.

Norman then hired George Reul who, for the better part of a year, investigated the event.

“He was helpless on the ground. They were punching him in the face,” Reul said. “I mean, even if you’re an MMA fighter or boxer, when you get on the ground, the referee stops the fight. It escalated. It escalated to the point where customers at the bar [and] people standing there were making comments.”

Reul said he was going back and forth with prosecutors trying to get every available footage of the incident. About 21 months after the events, he received the remaining pieces of the body camera footage.

“It wasn’t [until] around Christmas of last year that we were able to secure a dismissal, and that came shortly after the release of the last videos,” said Reul at a Thursday press conference outside the Harris County Detention Center. “They just can’t do whatever they want to citizens of Harris County. We’ve got laws, and they need to be enforced, and they need to be followed. And when you break them, you need to be held accountable.”

At the press conference, Dan Barton announced the federal lawsuit and a civil lawsuit against Bombshells Restaurant & Bar and its corporation owner, RCI Hospitality Holdings.

“Bombshells is no stranger to trouble and alcohol-related incidents,” Barton said. “We’ve sued Bombshells and RCI for over-serving Mr. Norman. Clearly, they served him until he passed out and was a clear danger to himself and others.”

KPRC 2 did not get a response from RCI Hospitality Holdings at the time of this article.

The lawsuit claims Norman had “fractures of the nasal septum,” nasal bone fractures, and several other injuries due to the incident.

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