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Police beat up entire wedding party, ruin pro baseball player’s career
PSUSA ^ | April 19, 2014 | Amanda Lankford and Gil O'Balle

Posted on 04/20/2014 2:04:31 PM PDT by null and void

A dozen wedding guests were beaten, tased, pepper sprayed, and arrested.

GALVESTON, TX — More than a dozen wedding guests were brutalized by police officers during a raid on a wedding party at a hotel. Cops fired tasers, used batons, and generously applied pepper spray to the guests of a bride and groom hours after their wedding. Among them was former pro-baseball star Brandon Backe, who said the shoulder injuries that he received from police caused his pitching career to end.

After causing a gaping head wound, bruises, hair pulled out, a broken nose, and pepper spray on numerous individuals, the only reprimand any of the officers received was a paperwork violation. Interestingly, none of the 3 dozen cops reported any use of force. Wedding Crashers

An event that should have been happy and memorable turned into violence and chaos when the Galveston Police got involved. A couple had just exchanged their vows and were celebrating with friends and family at the San Luis Hotel.

Everything was fine until an off-duty police officer thought that he had witnessed the bride’s brother, Daniel “Cole” O’Balle, 19, walking outside with an alcoholic beverage in his hand. Suspecting an under-aged adult had consumed a beverage without government permission, and violated the “open container” prohibition law, he phoned the police department for backup.

“I never thought I would have to go into a room and pray for my brothers life within hours of getting married.”

Police officers arrived to confront Mr. O’Balle. Joe and Shannon Belluomini, guests of the wedding party, witnessed the altercation and said that O’Balle was complying with security. Nonetheless, “out of nowhere, mayhem started,” explained Joe Belluomini to KTRK.

When the Belluominis tried to defuse the situation, they became targets themselves. Shannon Belluomini explained to KTRK that her husband was grabbed by the throat as Mr. O’Balle was assaulted. “The officer that had a baton in his hand started beating Cole with it. And then there just seemed like there were more and more officers.”

As Shannon Belluomini witnessed Cole O’Balle getting pummeled with baton strikes, she tried to intercede to protect his head, which was gashed open and bleeding. “That’s when they grabbed hold of me and threw me backwards and basically encased me with mace. It felt like acid being poured over my face and my eyes and my chest.”

As the commotion ensued, the wedding party came out to see what was the matter. Police lashed out violently to all who came within striking distance.

A total of 34 officers stormed the scene, prepped to handle what was described as a “riot.” Witnesses said the officers swarmed into the bar swearing at patrons and beating, pepper spraying, and tasering people without provocation.

Gil O’Balle, the father of the bride, saw that the police had split his son’s skull open and was attacked himself just for asking what had happened. Gil was then tased, pepper sprayed, and arrested

“I never thought I would have to go into a room and pray for my brothers life within hours of getting married,” said the bride, Amanda Lankford to KTRK.

Cole O’Balle had to be flown via helicopter to a hospital for immediate medical care. Cops arrested 13 people for ‘resisting arrest.’

Baseball Career Ruined

Brandon Backe received a broken nose, bruising, and permanent shoulder injuries. V Brandon Backe, a pitcher for the Houston Astros, was in attendance to the wedding since he was a childhood friend of the groom. As a pro-baseball player he had appeared in the World Series in 2005. The injuries he endured during the commotion would ultimately lead to surgeries, permanent pain, and a ruined career.

“I heard a frantic voice saying, ‘They got Cole.’ I could tell by the tone of the voice that something wasn’t right,” explained Backe in court.

When Backe and others went outside to see the horrific head injury that Cole O’Balle had sustained, they were told by Officer Nicholas McDermott “back the f— up!” according to Backe.

But Backe said there was no more room to back up. “Chill out, we can’t back up. You’ve got enough room,” Backe replied. He says at that point several officers attacked him. He says he was struck until he fell to the ground and received a beating until his face was bloody. He said one officer kicked him in the face, breaking his nose.

Backe said that officers slammed his body into a concrete curb and then piled on top of him, beating him continuously. His shoulder took a hard blow from the concrete. “I hit the ground hard and they just got on top of me,” he said.

That pain in that shoulder never subsided, Backe said in court. After surgeries and prolonged pain, his baseball career was forced to an early conclusion. “You want to be able to hang it up yourself, not let someone else hang it up for you,” he said.

The incident occurred over on October 5th, 2008, but is still being worked through the court system. The incident caused twelve people to join a lawsuit against the Galveston Police Department for allegations of brutality. Brandon Backe is seeking damages for his career being destroyed.

Here is a brief video that was recorded during the incident. Note the use of taser as individuals — including the bride’s father — were not resisting. Operating As Trained

For all the brutality and wanton attacks committed that night, no officers were fired. As far as the chief was concerned, every instance of force was justified. The only complaints that Galveston Police supervisors had was that the incident wasn’t documented properly. According to the Houston Chronicle:

An internal police investigation completed in March 2009 found that officers followed department policy in making arrests and applying force but that 13 officers failed to properly document the incident. Nine officers were suspended without pay, and four were issued written reprimands.

No “use of force” forms were filed at all, despite a gaping head wound, hair pulled out, a broken nose, pepper spray on numerous individuals, and obvious signs of bruising and beating on the arrested wedding guests.

While these omissions were themselves upsetting, many were shocked by the lack of acknowledgement of the brutality, and the lack of discipline following it.

“Split a skull open — bleeding on the brain — and its a paperwork violation?!” remarked Gil O’Balle.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: abuseofpower; brandonbacke; confrontationwatch; donutpatrol; donutwatch; feos; galveston; texas
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Photos and video at source.

The police all got to go home that night, that's all that matters...

1 posted on 04/20/2014 2:04:31 PM PDT by null and void
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To: Alaska Wolf; TexasFreeper2009; DCBryan1; Slings and Arrows; Doomonyou
JBT Ping list


2 posted on 04/20/2014 2:05:38 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: null and void

Amish?


3 posted on 04/20/2014 2:06:14 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: null and void
The police are now the enemies of America.

Period.

4 posted on 04/20/2014 2:08:27 PM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: null and void

Way to go, Texas police.


5 posted on 04/20/2014 2:12:49 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: null and void

Why have I not heard of this 2008 incident before? This is first time I read anything about this.


6 posted on 04/20/2014 2:13:02 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: Lazamataz

This event was in June 2009. Call it six months after The Won officially took office...


7 posted on 04/20/2014 2:15:28 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: Kackikat

Why indeed?


8 posted on 04/20/2014 2:16:08 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: null and void
It is starting to look like so much is missing from this and other such stories. I have known many cops in my life. Some might even develop and "us v. them" attitude. I never saw or heard of one going into a wedding party, calling for back up and beating the holy hell out of everyone for no reason.

Is that what we re being told happened here?

9 posted on 04/20/2014 2:16:44 PM PDT by stevem
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To: null and void

2008


10 posted on 04/20/2014 2:17:01 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: Kackikat

My error, October 2008


11 posted on 04/20/2014 2:19:15 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: Kackikat
Because the media hates you, lies to you, and fails to report stories.

/johnny

12 posted on 04/20/2014 2:19:27 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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Plenty of this cop open container non-sense happened in Dallas at softball fields after games.

Cops used to drive up onto the fields to watch the games then try to hand out tickets afterwards.


13 posted on 04/20/2014 2:19:36 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: AppyPappy

Caught it, Thanks.


14 posted on 04/20/2014 2:20:04 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: stevem

Yup. An off duty cop though he saw a 19 year old with an alcoholic beverage...


15 posted on 04/20/2014 2:21:04 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: null and void



16 posted on 04/20/2014 2:22:09 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: null and void

The cops are just another street gang. Stay as far away from them as you can.


17 posted on 04/20/2014 2:29:44 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The best way to control opposition is to lead it ourselves." -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)
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To: Paladin2

Negative, shockingly.


18 posted on 04/20/2014 2:33:51 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: Kackikat

Why have I not heard of this 2008 incident before? This is
first time I read anything about this.

****************

Here is a link to several articles dating back to Oct. 2008 when this happened.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7159994&vid=6849381


19 posted on 04/20/2014 2:43:25 PM PDT by deport
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To: miliantnutcase

The Fascist Gestapo is alive again, this time terrorizing U.S. citizens. Soon check out FedBizOps for RFPs to build gas chambers.


20 posted on 04/20/2014 2:47:11 PM PDT by Carl Vehse
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To: null and void
This stuff will continue until the Police Pensions become fair game and the victims get to keep the money and the cops lose their entire retirement savings.

Do that, and the cops will start to mind their manners.

21 posted on 04/20/2014 2:51:32 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: ClearCase_guy

It would also be nice if the police were required to have random drug/steroid tests.


22 posted on 04/20/2014 2:52:37 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: null and void

Even our local police forces are becoming third worldized under El-Presidente.


23 posted on 04/20/2014 3:00:04 PM PDT by logic101.net (How many more children must die on the altar of gun control?)
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To: Carl Vehse

Built by a campaign contributor to a Dem PAC I’m sure.


24 posted on 04/20/2014 3:00:43 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: null and void
This event was in June 2009. Call it six months after The Won officially took office...

Funny. According to the article: "The incident occurred over on October 5th, 2008, but is still being worked through the court system." That was before the election.

25 posted on 04/20/2014 3:05:03 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: miliantnutcase

Well, I’m happy to learn that they are equal opportunity head basher then.


26 posted on 04/20/2014 3:05:20 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

From the pictures it looked like a nice family.


27 posted on 04/20/2014 3:10:32 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: null and void

28 posted on 04/20/2014 3:12:54 PM PDT by LucyT (If you're NOT paranoid, you don't know what's going on.)
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To: null and void

.........poorly written article. What happened in civil lawsuits? What did that evidence produce?

The one 18 second video I looked at was inconclusive.

The only thing I can say given the paucity of information is that these kind of injuries strongly suggest the weight of fault probably was on the cops side. Must not have been any dogs at the event.


29 posted on 04/20/2014 3:13:46 PM PDT by Cen-Tejas (it's the debt bomb stupid!)
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To: miliantnutcase

“There’s No Situation So Tragic the Police Can’t Make It Worse”


30 posted on 04/20/2014 3:14:20 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

The cops are just another street gang. Stay as far away from them as you can.
-=-0=-
But they are on MY turf......


31 posted on 04/20/2014 3:16:08 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ? ........................ Enforce the Bill of Rights ......... It's the LAW !!!)
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To: null and void

Obvious graduates of the Fullerton Police Academy.


32 posted on 04/20/2014 3:21:22 PM PDT by SkyDancer (I Believe In The Law Until It Intereferes With Justice. And Pay Your Liberty Tax Citizen.)
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To: null and void




Support Free Republic



33 posted on 04/20/2014 3:26:50 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society. - Aristotle)
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To: DoodleDawg

Yes. My error, read the dateline on the wrong article.


34 posted on 04/20/2014 3:35:14 PM PDT by null and void (...if you are too sure of your place in heaven you might be too arrogant to actually get there.)
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To: Lazamataz

I view any person, woman or man, that wears a badge for any so called ‘law enforcement’ agency/office as probably my nightmare at sometime. I would like to know how many of such ilk are on public dole in the USA from cities to regions to states to feds of all stripes and agencies, even those the public has no realization such exist. I am thinking the number must be up in the millions and these people and these persons do nothing to build our economy as to goods unless you believe that recycling private sector money payments helps build the economy for such private sector. My thoughts at this time go especially to the Bundys in Nevada.


35 posted on 04/20/2014 3:58:01 PM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: Paladin2
Amish?

How about reading the article before you try to inject racism into this!

36 posted on 04/20/2014 4:04:48 PM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To win the country back, we need to be as mean as the libs say we are.)
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To: deport

Thanks...


37 posted on 04/20/2014 4:10:30 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

At least one state recently passed a law that entitles a person to shoot police in self defense. That should become a model law for every state.


38 posted on 04/20/2014 4:31:31 PM PDT by meatloaf (Impeach Obama. That's my New Year's resolution.)
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To: TangoLimaSierra
The Amish are a race?

A religious sect?

A separatist cultural group?

39 posted on 04/20/2014 4:34:13 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Kackikat

You’re welcome. Here’s a FR thread from back in 08 about the incident.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2100338/posts


40 posted on 04/20/2014 5:01:50 PM PDT by deport
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To: null and void

Omg


41 posted on 04/20/2014 5:05:01 PM PDT by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: deport

There should have been charges for this type of behavior by police when all that was seen was a young man with a glass? A wedding crash and the loss of all that money not to mention the destruction of their memories. Maybe there was a grievance from the police against one of them or their parents? I’ll read the links soon to get the facts. WOW such extreme actions.


42 posted on 04/20/2014 5:05:13 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: deport

I meant charges on the police who participated by those investigating.


43 posted on 04/20/2014 5:05:58 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: null and void

Not too long ago 18 was the legal drinking age in Texas. Don’t know when it was changed. But back then a sixteen year old could drink in a honky-tonk if the kid’s parents were with him.

By the way, I hate cops.


44 posted on 04/20/2014 5:06:14 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: meatloaf

That’s the problem. When cops start beating the hell out of you and you naturally resist, here comes more cops to beat the hell out of you.

The one thing that’s hurting these cops are cell phone cameras. And they hate them! It may be that we need to start travelling in groups. Everyone has a camera. And everyone has a gun. The ones not shooting the guns will be shooting video.


45 posted on 04/20/2014 5:09:38 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: null and void

Damn I’m glad I don’t live in Texas.
.


46 posted on 04/20/2014 5:13:58 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: null and void

Former pro baseball STAR????

Excuse me, but Backe was a .500 pitcher with a career ERA over 5.0 and exactly ONE complete game over 8 years.

I believe the term “journeyman” would be more accurate.


47 posted on 04/20/2014 5:18:12 PM PDT by Walrus (I love the America that used to be ---I hate the America that now IS!)
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To: Cen-Tejas
.........poorly written article. What happened in civil lawsuits? What did that evidence produce?

I think Backe's lawsuit is the reason this case is getting a little more attention now.

48 posted on 04/20/2014 5:20:56 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Kackikat

Some of the police were reprimanded within the dept. but no charges filed as I read the stories.
It’s hard to get a complete story. One link I saw had the charges against some of the wedding
guest dismissed. The Chronicle has some articles also.

http://www.khou.com/news/local/Judge-dismisses-part-of-H2O-lawsuit-involving-former-Astros-pitcher—119327654.html

Take care.


49 posted on 04/20/2014 5:22:22 PM PDT by deport
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To: Paladin2
The Amish are a race? A religious sect? A separatist cultural group?

You know what he meant.

50 posted on 04/20/2014 5:34:22 PM PDT by Dartman (CDN PM Stephen Harper may not be perfect, but we don't have to be ashamed or embarassed of him.)
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