The crowd was slow to disperse early Thursday morning at Dillinger’s on the downtown San Marcos Square. Photos by Sean Batura.
By SEAN BATURA
Police tased and arrested a man as they attempted to disperse a massive crowd at Dillinger’s on the downtown square at closing time early Thursday morning.
The tasing of 21-year-old Roshan Deandre Jackson occurred shortly before 2:05 a.m., as a crowd of about 500 people congregated outside the nightclub. Police reports indicate that Jackson was involved in a fight and physically resisted officers’ efforts to detain him. Jackson was later charged with assault on a public servant, a felony.
The incident occurred hours after the end of final examinations to close out the spring semester at Texas State. Dillingers’ spring graduation edition of its weekly “Whatever You Like Wednesday” also ended badly for another individual — 21-year-old Drenard Paul Williams, who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct-fighting, a Class C misdemeanor.
“Both arrests stemmed from the same crowd, and the fight within the crowd, and all that,” said San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) Commander Chase Stapp.
Stapp said he didn’t know if the two men are San Marcos residents.
“At first I just seen the police push him, and — he pushed him into the other policeman, and I guess the other policeman thought he was being attacked, and then they pushed him and tased him, and put him on the ground,” said Lawrence Taylor about the altercation with Jackson and the San Marcos police, who declined to reveal whether he is a San Marcos resident.
Stapp said Taylor’s account is not accurate based on the police reports.
“Those big fights get to be a mess to try and sort out,” Stapp said. “People tend to disperse very quickly and sometimes you only get one party detained before the other is gone … Those kinds of things are fairly common, especially at bar closing hours, where people tend to be under the influence of alcohol, and then they’ll start to fight over words exchanged or whatever. It’s usually silly in the end, when you look back on it.”
Austin resident William Morrealle sported a black eye after an assault he said occurred near the intersection of LBJ Drive and Hopkins Street.
Morrealle said an officer twice told him to “shut up” after he attempted to explain the injury. Morrealle said the officer seemed preoccupied with happenings in the crowd. Morrealle said the assailant disappeared after the attack. Stapp said that, to his knowledge, no report was filed in connection with Morrealle’s injury.
Police began massing at the scene before 2 a.m. and attempted to disperse the crowd, which had spilled into one of the southwest-bound vehicular lanes on Hopkins Street. Shortly after Jackson’s arrest, police attempts to disperse the crowd became more persistent. Eleven law enforcement vehicles, including at least one Hays County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) cruiser, lined both sides of Hopkins Street between LBJ Drive and Guadalupe Street. Officers threatened anyone who lingered on the street or sidewalk with arrest, and told everyone to leave.
“Officers have to get these crowds — when violence erupts in a crowd like that — one of the first things they got to do is try and get the crowd to disperse, to try and quell the violence, so that’s why they do that,” Stapp said.
Title 9 of the Texas Penal Code states a person may be charged with obstructing a highway or other passageway if he or she disobeys “a reasonable request or order to move issued by a person the actor knows to be or is informed is a peace officer,” as long as the reason for the order is “to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire, riot, or other hazard,” in the language of the statute.
Jackson and Williams are African Americans. Most who were in Thursday’s gathering outside Dillingers are African Americans.
Within minutes of the tasing, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrived to inspect Jackson for injuries related to the tasing.
“That’s standard procedure for us,” Stapp said. “Since the taser barbs do actually penetrate the skin by 1/16 of an inch or so, we do that as standard protocol. He was transported to the jail without any further incident.”
According to SMPD’s 2008 and 2009 Use of Force Reports, police officers used tasers 30 times in 2006, 30 times in 2007, 31 times in 2008, and 36 times in 2009. According to the same reports, officers threatened to use tasers on 83 occasions in 2006, 85 times in 2007, on 61 occasions in 2008, and 72 times in 2009. Officers displayed firearms 126 times in 2006, on 126 occasions in 2007, 148 times in 2008, and on 223 occasions in 2009.
Instances of police use of force against African Americans increased from 10 percent in 2008 to 17 percent in 2009, according to the 2009 and 2008 Use of Force Reports issued by SMPD. According to the federal government’s 2006-2008 American Community Survey (ACS), 5.2 percent of San Marcos residents are Black. Police uses of force against Whites decreased from 46 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2009. White residents of San Marcos comprise 57.9 percent of the population, according to the ACS. Police use of force against Hispanics decreased from 44 percent in 2008 to 42 percent in 2009. According to the ACS, Hispanic or Latinos are 34.6 percent of the city’s population.
In 2009, police officers completed Use of Force Reports on 238 occasions as a result of 80,891 contacts with civilians, and police used or threatened to use force against civilians in 0.3 percent of contacts, or about once every 36.8 hours, according to the 2009 Year in Review.
In 2008, officers completed a Use of Force Report on 201 separate incidents following almost 59,000 contacts, and police used or threatened to use force against citizens about once every 43.7 hours, according to the 2008 Year in Review.
“In 2009, officers reported 107 completed uses of force,” states the 2009 Use of Force Report. “In 65 incidents, the officers used empty hand techniques, such as grabbing a suspect, twisting an arm, or wrestling a subject to the ground. Officers used the taser 36 times. In two cases each, officers used a wrap restraint to secure a violently resisting subject, used pepper spray to subdue a suspect, or used the PIT maneuver to terminate a pursuit.”
According to the report, 289 of the citizens against whom officers used force reported no injury, 20 reported minor injuries and none reported a serious injury. Of the citizens reporting minor injuries, 10 reported an injury that required hospital treatment. Eight officers received minor injuries during the year.
Eleven cruisers lined Hopkins Street at bar closing time Thursday morning.
(Editor’s note: The above has been clarified to show that all the use of force statistics come from the San Marcos Police Department’s Use of Force Reports.)Email | Print
Well, it took almost half of the article for you to play the race card…..but once you did, you played it to the hilt.
Sean, what is your point? I think NS already did a story on SMPD’s use of force and their annual reports. Why don’t you spend a sentence or two talking about why all these people refused to follow directions of police officers directing them to leave the area. Do what you are told, leave, and chances of getting tased are zero….
“Do what you’re told. Give up your rights. Stand in this line. Die like a dog.” Hitler anyone? You followers disgust me.
It sounds like maybe it’s time to review the 2 AM closing time. I believe we’re still within the trial period. The longer the bars are open, the drunker people get. Drunk driving arrests are up. Public intoxication arrests are up. Now we’re having near riots on the square of drunken people. This is going to be bad for San Marcos’ image and bad for Texas State trying to shake its image as a party school.
Didn’t think about it from that perspective James. Great points! I think they are building some camps somewhere near West Campus….let us all know when you find them.
I dont think anyone ever had the right to infringe on any other persons rights or property. Go stand up to someone other then the police down there and see if your not crying to the police for help defending your right not to be beat up when downtown.
If you were on the Square Thursday night, the only surprising thing is that there were only a few arrests. There should have been a massive amount of arrests, the crowd was out of control. And it has nothing to do with the 2AM closing, the same thing happened at midnight when bars closed at midnight. The cops in San Marcos only try to keep things orderly, you can be drunk and loud, as long as you keep moving and don’t incite the corwds. Puke, pee in public, drive drunk, it’s all ok, as long as you don’t hurt someone.
This article should have been cut at the 12th paragraph. But it’s not the writer’s fault, it’s the editor’s for letting all of this make it to the web. I look forward to seeing mentions of how issues are racially related in your future articles, Newstreamz, for the sake of equality of coverage–a journalist’s first priority.
i’m not sure its about the 2am closing but that finals were over; i really thought i would read more about this particular instance in relation to other ‘after finals’ party and not the ‘race card’.
At about the 12th pararagraph, I was wondering how often this kind of thing takes place. Many thanks to the reporter and editor for giving some kind of context and perspective about how this incident plays in the larger fabric of San Marcos. More information is better than less. Unless you have something to lose. and am I supposed to think that a black man gets tased outside of Dillingers at closing time and race isn’t part of the equation? People need to get out more.
I like to think that the most relevant factors that led to a black man being tased Thursday night were that a black man got into a street fight and that same black man later resisted arrest for participating in this fight.
Had this man not chosen to do both of those things, then he would still be among the ranks of “we the un-tased”.
The article states that the crowd was “mostly African Americans” that night…..if we’re alleging police misconduct here, why did only one person get tased? Oh right, that one person got into a fight in the street and then tried to buck up to a cop…..
I’m surprised they didn’t execute someone. Police are not here to help anyone, they are here to serve the interests of the state as tax collectors and executioners. There are more examples of police brutality and excessive force than you could repeat in a day. There should be no trust between the community and these domestic terrorists we call police.
That’s right Travis! Well said!! Be sure to call one of your international terrorist friends when your apartment gets broken into, your car broken into, or a family member violently assaulted by sexual predator. I bet they will help you out.
You make me sick and your a coward. You are the type who will be first to scream when you need help from a police officer. I’ve seen people that talk like you crumble to the ground in the fetal position screaming for the police to help them when confronted by a criminal. Do the cops a favor….don’t ever, ever call asking for help. Forget the number 911….
It’s wonderful to see you so upset and in tears mid screaming 101. Hopefully, you’ll end up being killed or paralyzed by one of these either under-educated or over-aggressive police officers, maybe you’d learn then. Kind of like the little 7 year old child who was shot in the head after being burned by a grenade from police, or the elderly woman executed in her home when the police raided the wrong residence, or the thousands of pets shot to death in front of children during everyday police raids.. Yea, there’s more stories like these than naive people like yourself would even want to know about. Then again, you’d probably excuse these brutal police murders and let the innocent rot in their graves. I mean, what kind of patriotic and free individual would ever question authority’s use of force right? Yep, you’re no coward, no coward at all.
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