Static: Wednesday, October 6, 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Assault and Battery

A federal grand jury indictment handed down last week was given added weight, Static’s been told, by a story reported in this rag seven years ago (“Black and Blue,” Nov. 18, 1997). The indictment was against former Fort Worth cop Ruben Omar Ruiz, for allegedly violating the civil rights of David Davis, Jr. in 2000 by beating him, as Davis (a suspect in a drug deal) was being held down on the ground and handcuffed by fellow officers. The alleged victim of the 1997 assault, Chad Robinson, was 15 at the time and a suspect in an attempted armed robbery, although charges were later dropped. He was caught by four Fort Worth cops, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and then, according to about 20 eyewitnesses, allegedly beaten about the face and body by several of the officers, one of whom was later identified as Ruiz. Robinson’s mom, Janis Hanford, filed a civil rights complaint with the feds — which languished until Davis’ complaint popped up, leading investigators to Robinson’s case. He was called to testify, and copies of this paper’s story were passed out to jurors. “It took a long time,” Hanford said, “but maybe there’ll be justice after all.”

Asphalt and Batteries

Helen Wallace’s coin and stamp shop sits just west of RadioShack’s downtown construction site, and her corporate neighbor is beginning to learn that she isn’t a woman to mess with. Wallace grew tired of gravel trucks spilling dirt and pebbles on the street, gutter, and her parking lot on West Belknap, and so she called ’Shack CEO Leonard Roberts and left several messages. When her calls weren’t returned, she made half a dozen calls to the city. The city called RadioShack contractor The Beck Group and convinced someone to clean up the mess more than a week later, even though Beck denied responsibility. Wallace wasn’t impressed. RadioShack is receiving millions in tax abatements and is building on property that remains under city ownership, yet the kazillion-dollar corporation literally dumps on its neighbor and won’t return calls, she said. “That’s deplorable. When they’re not even paying city taxes on that real estate, they ought to have enough money to clean up their mess. I’m talking about two lanes of trash. What I ought to do is shovel up some of this stuff and dump it on Len Roberts’ doorstep and say, ‘How do you like having trash dumped on your property?’ RadioShack is the sorriest neighbor on the face of the earth.”

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