A Texas sheriff’s deputy involved in the fatal shooting of a man who had a psychotic episode is suing the man’s family for more than $100,000, claiming they were negligent and reckless for not warning 911 operators that the man was a “violent threat.”
Harris County Deputy Brady Pullen was one of two deputies who responded to a 911 call about 43-year-old Kemal Yazar acting erratically back in December 2012, when his wife said he started talking about being the anti-Christ and didn’t eat or sleep for days. A struggle ensued between Pullen and Yazar, causing Pullen and the other deputy to take out their Tasers and guns. Yazar was then shot multiple times and died at a hospital in Katy, Texas.
Pullen’s lawsuit seeks more than $100,000 in damages for “medical expenses, mental anguish, pain and suffering and loss of past earning capacity,” the Houston Chronicle reported Friday. The sheriff’s deputy said he missed work due to surgery for injuries related to the incident and suffered a concussion.
The suit claims Yazar’s wife, Marlene Yazar, should have told 911 that her husband recently used the hallucinogenic drug DMT, although she wasn’t named in the suit. Pullen is going after Carmina Figueroa, Marlene Yazar’s mother and the homeowner of the Katy home where the incident occurred, even though she wasn’t home at the time of the incident. Figueroa’s name is listed on the home’s insurance policy, according to the Chronicle.
But Marlene Yazar said it had been weeks since her husband took DMT; Pullen claims she should have revealed the drug use to 911 but didn’t because she didn’t want her husband going to jail.
“I didn’t even know what it was,” she told the Chronicle about the hallucinogenic drug.
Houston attorney Dean Blumrosen is representing Figueroa for free because he was so shocked that Pullen would sue, and went so far as to seek punishment against Pullen’s attorney, Mark Long, for filing the claim. Figueroa said the lawsuit against her deepens the tragedy.
"The first thing I thought is this man is crazy," Figueroa told the Chronicle, referring to Pullen. "Not only is he destroying our lives, but he's suing me."
But Long said he has no qualms about filing the suit on Pullen’s behalf.
"I'm actually offended that people would think that police officers don't have civil rights to use civil law on their behalf. Everyone else does," Long said. "If this case brings an awareness that people need to be completely, utterly honest with 911, and if people become aware that police officers have rights just like everybody else, I'm happy. Whatever else people think about me, I could care less."
While Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia wouldn’t comment on the suit, he did express concern about whether the legal action would make the public reluctant to call 911 because they don’t want to face a lawsuit.