Texas Rangers are investigating the death of a Raymond Luther Allen, Jr., Galveston man who died in the hospital two days after being tased by a Galveston sheriff’s deputy and a Galveston police officer this week, a ranger said Thursday.
“We don’t do it because we think the police are criminally culpable,” Haralson said. “We do it because it needs to be done and it goes where it goes.”
Allen’s father, Raymond Allen Sr., blames the police for his son’s death.
“I think it was pretty low down,” he said. He said two witnesses told him that his son was hogtied, but he declined to disclose further details for fear of harming the investigation.
Police and sheriff’s deputies received a report of a man jumping repeatedly from the second floor of the Beachcomber Inn on 61st Street about a half block from the seawall shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, Haralson said. Officers encountered Allen Jr. in the parking lot of the Happy Buddha Restaurant next door to the motel, he said.
Motel manager Peter Wolbach said there was no record of Allen Jr. being registered, although an employee saw him leaving the property.
Police at first were concerned about Allen Jr.’s welfare, Haralson said.
“Initially it was concern for his erratic behavior,” he said. “The first thing they asked was, ‘Man, do I need to call you an ambulance?'”
A deputy and officer each Tased Allen Jr. while trying to restrain him and reported he stopped breathing, Haralson said. An ambulance took Allen Jr. to the University of Texas Medical Branch’s John Sealy Hospital where he died Wednesday, Haralson said.
Department of Public Safety records show that Allen Jr. was arrested 20 times by the Galveston police and once by DPS between 1994 and 2010 on charges that included unlawfully carrying a weapon, assault, evading arrest and drug possession.
Allen Jr. was the father of three children, ages 4, 10 and 13, said sister-in-law Lenora Amy. Amy said his police record did not reflect the way he was seen by his family and his neighbors.
“We’re not going to let them take away his memory,” she said.
A week before his death, Allen Jr. placed flowers on the grave of his grandmother, Sammie Allen, as he has done every year on her birthday since she died 15 years ago, said his aunt, Jeanette Dotson.
“He was loved by all,” Allen Sr. said. “He had compassion for people’s lives and tried to bring joy to others.”
*Originally published on Chron.