A former sheriff’s deputy sued in federal court over shooting a man attempting to escape has requested the civil trial be heard by a jury, according to court papers filed last week.

Dennis Benson in August sued Galveston County, the sheriff’s office and former deputy Edward Benavidez for more than $1 million in the July 2019 shooting.

In the lawsuit filed in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Benson, who was shot in the parking lot of the University of Texas Medical Branch, accused Benavidez of using unnecessary force and causing serious bodily injury.

Benavidez shot Benson after Benson attempted to escape custody.

Benson had been arrested on drug possession charges. After turning himself in for a warrant, Benson told deputies during booking that he had swallowed a bag of the drug ecstasy. He was taken to the medical branch emergency room for treatment, according to the lawsuit.

Benavidez was one of the deputies watching Benson while he was in the hospital. According to Benson’s claim, while the two were walking down a hallway, Benson performed a “football move” on Benavidez and ran out of the building.

Benavidez chased Benson, who was still shackled, and fired two shots, according to court records.

One of the shots was accidental, according to court documents. In his own response to Benson’s lawsuit, Benavidez admitted to accidentally firing his weapon as Benson was exiting the hospital.

Benavidez said in his response that he no longer works for the sheriff’s office.

He then intentionally shot Benson to prevent him from escaping, according to the lawsuit. The shot hit Benson in the leg and ultimately caused him to have two toes amputated, according to the lawsuit.

Benson, who in 2020 was convicted on charges of escape while arrested and possession of a controlled substance, said he was on the ground when he was shot, having just tripped over a concrete barrier.

Benson’s lawsuit also accuses the sheriff’s office of not properly training or preparing deputies for how to deal with people who are trying to escape custody.

Benavidez filed a response to the complaint last week and asked for the lawsuit to be sent to a jury to be decided.

In its own response, the county asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, saying in part that the county was immune to being sued.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter



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(7) comments

Ron Shelby

Don't try and escape! Hopefully there's video to resolve this.

David Smith

Dont run.

You Wont

Get shot OJ

Terry Moore

Well I never! Ridiculous! You broke the law idiot!

Charles Wiley

Does this guy really believe he has a right to escape? I think he’s lucky he didn’t lose more than his toes.

Charles Douglas

Yes sir, a matter of fact this guy probably l did think he had a right to excape! This is due to the gross disrepect for the Law, and Law Enforcement running rampant in this country today by the LEFT! This is what the Radical Liberal Party is telling African-American, and Hispanic men indirectly by their vigirous persecution of Police Officers & Law Enforcement today in America!

All you could hear from the LEFT in Congress for the last few years was "Defund and Dismantle" the police! What message was sent to those who wanted to Rob, Loot, Steal, Kill, Murder, Burn Down, Carjack, and Assault? We also heard these demands, "Police Reform!" "NO BAIL REQUIREMENTS." Results were: Crime went off the charts in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, New York, Minneapolis, LA, Houston, & Seattle!

Now that these policies have blown up in the collective faces of those who wanted to get rid of the Police & who wanted to Re-Amagine how Law Enforcement should work, I noticed the Biden Administration is sending hundreds of millions of tax-payers money to bail out the same STUPID, IDIOTIC failed leaders in those states & municipalities,.... who made all those ill-advised, & stupid decisions! In short, it is all the fault of SLAVERY 3.0 Vote Harvesting instituted by the LEFT. [beam]

Bill Sterchi

Well put Charles!!!

Albert S. Gonzales

Frivolous lawsuit, a waste of time and tax paper money.

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