Police Officer Kevin Hubenak didn't say anything about beating Larry
Moore to a pulp in the charging complaint against him for possession of
marijuana. He didn't accuse Moore of trying to run, of resisting arrest or of trying to assault him.
according to a lawsuit now filed against the city, HPD and Hubenak, the
officer beat Moore so badly that the HPD jail doctors wouldn't even
accept him into the facility, instead sending him to the hospital. The
lawsuit accuses Hubenak of unjustified excessive force and failure to
render medical aid to Moore while he was clearly in pain and severely
injured. (HPD declined to comment, citing pending litigation, and the
city did not respond to our request.)
"They didn't even
call him an ambulance. That's one of the more upsetting things," said
Moore's attorney, Andre Evans, who often handles police brutality cases.
"You have someone who is clearly in pain. You caused his pain. You
didn't call for an ambulance — and instead you take him to the jail."
to the criminal complaint, authored by Hubenak, Hubenak and his partner
pulled Moore over because he allegedly ran a red light and had a broken
taillight. Moore turned into a Fiesta Mart and came to a stop near the
front entrance of the store. Hubenak claims that as soon as he came up
to the car, he could smell "fresh marijuana." The cops asked Moore and
his friend to step out of the vehicle, and they complied.
From here, the officer and Moore offer conflicting accounts.
to the lawsuit, while Hubenak was questioning Moore, Moore's friend
fled from Hubenak's partner on foot — and that's when Hubenak then
"violently body slammed Moore" and started hitting him so hard in the
head that he momentarily lost consciousness. The lawsuit says that
Hubenak only stopped punching and kicking Moore after bystanders going
in and out of the Fiesta Mart yelled at him to stop.
meanwhile, says nothing about this assault in the criminal complaint,
and only says that Moore's friend fled from his partner and had to be
chased down after Moore was already handcuffed.
claims that, while the pair sat in the back of the cop car for two
hours, police made jokes about Moore's disfigured face. When he finally
arrived at the HPD jail, jail docs sent him to Ben Taub for what they
described as "blunt facial trauma." Doctors there said he had a blood
clot in his face, on the side of his head. One doctor had to remove the
dirt in his hair left by Hubenak's boot, which Moore claims he left
pressed on his head, into the concrete, so that he could not get up.
Evans said that, two years later, his client's face has still not returned to normal.
"This case," he said, "it really did shock me."
later pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, despite earlier
maintaining that the weed did not belong to him. In the lawsuit, he is
seeking unspecified damages for the pain, both physical and mental, that
he says the police have caused him.
Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press
who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in
Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.