Baytown, Texas—On January 29, 2004, a jury returned
a verdict of not guilty for Baytown Police Officer Micah Aldred
in the allegation of Class Amisdemeanor
assault. The case was heard in Harris County Criminal Court at
Law No. 11 with the Honorable Diane Bull presiding. The charges stem from
the interaction Officer Aldred had with Naomi Autin on
July 11, 2003. According to the investigation, Officer Aldred was dispatched
to the 1300 block of Willow Street in reference to a family problem. Upon
his arrival, Officer Aldred contacted Ms. Autin in the street. She told
him that she was there to pick up the mail for her brother who was in jail,
and the woman inside the house would not let her inside. Ms. Autin also
told the officer that she needed him to either make the woman get up and
open the door or force entry into the house for her.
When Officer Aldred told Ms. Autin he could not legally do
that, Ms. Autin turned away from the officer and approached her brother’s
house, picking up a brick before she reached the porch. Officer Aldred ordered
Ms. Autin to drop the brick and stay away from the house. Ms. Autin ignored
Officer Aldred’s orders and climbed the steps and began pounding on
the front door with the brick. Officer Aldred then moved through the gate
continuing to order Ms. Autin to stop, but she continued to strike the door
with the brick. Officer Aldred attempted to deploy his department-issued
Taser in an effort to stop her, but the Taser’s air cartridge malfunctioned.
Ms. Autin continued to pound on the door. Ms Autin raised the brick and
turned toward Officer Aldred as he moved in closer and contacted Ms. Autin’s
shoulder with the Taser. The air cartridge then deployed, and one of the
two probes struck Ms. Autin in her front right shoulder. The Taser
emitted an ineffective electrical charge. Again, Ms. Autin raised
the brick as Officer Aldred attempted to restrain Ms. Autin physically.
According to Ms. Autin, it was at this point that
she lost her balance and fell against a support pole striking her head.
Officer Aldred ordered her to remain on the ground and place her hands behind
her back so he could handcuff her. Instead, she attempted to stand
up and not be handcuffed. Officer Aldred, in response,
then contacted her in the shoulder with his Taser, allowing him to gain
control and place handcuffs on her.
Byron Jones, Chief of Police, said, “We
accept the court’s decision in this case. Officer Aldred will return
to duty status immediately. Now that the trial is over, we will finalize
the administrative case. Our trust remains in our system of justice.”
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