Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Audio recording eagerly awaited in San Antonio shooting

Student 'charged' cop in an attempted arrest over traffic stop
Robert Redus was an honors student and co-valedictorian of his high school class
Alamo Heights, San Antonio, Texas – Friends are hard-pressed to believe police reports about the final, violent moments of Robert Redus' life.

Citizens and police await the decision by the District Attorney whether to make a public release of an audio recording of the traffic stop that led to a University police officer fatally shooting and killing the senior class student five times on Friday, December 6, as he arrived home at his apartment complex.

According to Alamo Heights Chief of Police Richard Pruitt, a preliminary investigation has revealed that Redus, a communications major at the University of the Incarnate Word who was scheduled to graduate in May, had broken free of Capt. Chris Carter as he attempted to handcuff him in an arrest for speeding and erratic driving off campus.
Scene of killing - KTRK

Chief Pruitt told newsmen that Redus grabbed Capt. Carter's baton and hit him with it before the police officer got it back.

A witness has told Alamo Heights police and Texas Rangers investigating the killing that Redus was heard saying, “Oh, so now you're going to shoot me.”

Carter told investigators he warned Redus that he would shoot him if he did not stop and submit to being handcuffed. When the reportedly mild-mannered honors student further resisted, Capt. Carter said he drew his .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol and fired six times, fatally wounding Redus in the chest, neck, eye, arm and thigh as Redus charged him with an arm upraised to strike him.

Though university police are issued pepper spray to be used in subduing unruly suspects, Chief Pruitt said, Capt. Carter had none.

There is no video recording of the attempted arrest because the video camera mounted on the dashboard of the pickup truck Carter used as a patrol unit had fallen off. Police had scheduled a repair to the unit in order to have it remounted, Chief Pruitt explained to news reporters.

An audio recording is available, and investigators indicated it will be useful in determining the exact sequence of the actions of Capt. Carter and Redus, and the escalation of events as they occurred that led to the curbside killing of a man suspected of driving in excess of the speed limit and in an erratic fashion in a shooting that left his upper body riddled with bullets.

Capt. Carter has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation and Grand Jury determination regarding his conduct.

Emotions in this genteel north side community, which is studded with golf courses and located near Breckenridge Park and Ft. Sam Houston, are running high.

According to published reports, Redus' associates at the university were hard-pressed to reconcile his reported actions with their experience of him as an individual and a friend.

He was not that kind of person,” said Miriam Thomas, 20, a junior at the university. “Everyone has been completely heartbroken over this.”

Redus graduated as co-valedictorian from Baytown Christian Academy, located in his home town, an industrial suburb of Houston located on the Ship Channel.

There have been no published reports of Redus having a firearm at the time of the attempted arrest and killing over a misdemeanor traffic offense. Officials have not as yet reported the toxicology of his bodily fluids, nor discussed any evidence of the contents of his pockets or his automobile.

This dashcam video depicts the arrest of M/Sgt. C.J. Grisham on Saturday, May 16 of this year, as he hiked down a rural road near the Airport in Temple, Texas, on a Boy Scout hike with his son, Chris, Jr. He had armed himself with a loaded AR-15, he told officers, in case of an attack by feral hogs.

There is no law against walking on a public roadway armed with a loaded long gun – a rifle or shotgun.

Bell County prosecutors and a visiting County Court-at-Law jurist, Judge Neel D. Richardson, of Harris County, refused to release the material until they had obtained a conviction of Sgt. Grisham for the Class B misdemeanor crime of interfering with a public official in his appointed duties.

In a second trial following a mistrial due to an irrevocably deadlocked panel, jurors made a finding that his actions in grasping the weapon after Officer Steve Ermis drew his .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol and began to struggle to disarm him by force amounted to proof of the commission of that crime.

They assessed punishment with a $2,000 fine and eschewed a possible sentence of six months county jail time. He is presently petitioning the Court to regain possession of his weapons – an AR-15 and a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol - and faces similar disorderly conduct misdemeanor prosecution for criminal trespassing in a Travis County Court-at-Law for carrying a toy revolver on the grounds of the State Capitol. 

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