LEAGUE CITY, TX (KTRK) — A man is suing League City after saying cops wrongly arrested and jailed him and his wife more than three weeks ago.
It all started with what they thought was a small fender bender in a parking lot. But in probable cause statements, officials claimed the couple broke the law.
On Monday, Randal Hall filed the $25 million lawsuit against the city, alleging that the League City Police Department violated his civil rights. When asked why he was chasing such a large amount in a news conference with family members and lawyers on Tuesday, he told ABC13 he wanted to make a statement to the city and police.
He also pledged to use any proceeds from that case to create a legal fund that would help pay legal fees for people who felt abused by law enforcement.
The case began on September 2 when Rachael Hall, wife of Randal Hall, rammed a car that was reversing out of a parking space at a gym. This is where the details get complicated.
Rachael Hall claimed she left the scene without giving her information because the other driver admitted fault. He allegedly asked her not to call the police “because many of his family members are in the Houston Police Department and the accident happened on private property so no police would come anyway.”
However, according to probable cause statements, the driver called police after driving away, claiming that Rachael Hall was to blame. He claimed she didn’t want to share her information and left the scene. Using a photo the driver took of Rachael Hall’s license plate, a League City police officer found her address and went to her home later that night to request her information.
Randal Hall said when his wife called and put him on the phone with the officer. He explained that they were reluctant to give the police any personal information they could give the other driver. He cited safety concerns after a stalking incident in a previous car accident.
“My wife was so intimidated by the officer that she called me. I asked him on the phone when I was in El Campo, 90 miles away, that either he would produce a warrant for his arrest or I would bring this up with the police chief the next day,” recalled Randal Hall.
The officer wrote in the probable cause statement, “It is state law to provide information to those involved when they are involved in an accident involving damage.”
He also stated that “after requesting the correct information from Rachael Hall, she refused to give me her driver’s license and insurance information and only gave me her name and cell phone number.”
After the officer allegedly stated that he did not want to go through Randal Hall as a middleman as he was not involved in the crash. Randal Hall reportedly told his wife they were being threatened by the officer, so she went inside and locked the door.
More than two weeks later, on September 18, two League City police officers executed a warrant at the Halls’ residence, arresting Randal for “disrupting public duty.” Rachael was also arrested for “failing to provide required information in an accident in which a vehicle was damaged”.
They were checked into League City Jail and released the next day. The couple said what was most alarming was leaving their four children, aged 10 to 15, alone all night.
“We were the bigger supporters of law enforcement until this happened. Our children are traumatized from seeing their parents arrested and dragged from our home. Had no idea what happened. Had no idea what was going to happen,” Randel said.
The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office eventually declined to prosecute Randal Hall, citing “state voters to proceed with the companion case.” Randal Hall’s attorney, Randall Kallinen, believes his client’s charges were unreasonable.
“Just politely phoning the officer without vulgarity violates freedom of expression,” Kallinen said.
Rachael Hall’s case is still under review by the District Attorney’s office. In addition to $25 million, Randal Hall is also demanding a public apology from the police department and more training for their officers.
In statements to ABC13, both the city and prosecutors said they cannot comment on the details of this case due to the ongoing litigation.
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https://abc13.com/league-city-police-department-wrongful-arrest-lawsuit-civil-rights-randal-hall/12295404/ League City Police Sue: Man alleges he and his wife were wrongly arrested and jailed for fender bending