03:51 PM CDT on Saturday, August 22, 2009
By Chris Paschenko / The Daily News
PASADENA — The man suspected in Friday’s fatal shooting of a Pasadena police officer once sued Santa Fe police, claiming two officers use excessive force against him.
Sergio Robles, 24, was at Memorial Hermann Hospital undergoing neurosurgery Friday morning, the attorney who represented Robles in the Santa Fe incident, Kelly W. Case, said. A hospital spokeswoman said Robles was in critical condition Friday afternoon.
Robles is suspected in the fatal shooting of Pasadena officer Jesse Hamilton, 29, who also was flown to Memorial Hermann shortly after he was shot in the head about 6:30 a.m., Pasadena Police Department spokesman Vance Mitchell said.
Sergio Robles, Jr.
Officers arriving at the scene shot Robles in the head.
Charges of capital murder and aggravated assault were filed from Harris County’s 177th District Court against Robles, Mitchell said. Robles is held without bond. The aggravated assault charge stems from an accusation that Robles pointed a weapon at another officer.
Robles’ uncle, Alfred Postel, who was at the hospital with other relatives, called Case to tell him of the situation.
Santa Fe Connection
Robles, who suffers from schizophrenia, was off his medication and walking Aug. 21, 2006, on state Highway 6 in Santa Fe when he encountered two police officers.
A struggle ensued, and Robles accused the officers of using excessive force in detaining him.
Robles was distraught about his father’s death three days earlier, Case said.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Robles accused the officers of throwing him to the ground, punching him and sitting on him.
Robles was charged with two counts of felony assault of a police officer, but when video surfaced of the matter, the charges were later reduced to resisting arrest.
Robles was acquitted of that charge in February.
The city of Santa Fe settled Robles’ lawsuit, agreeing to pay him $125,000.
“They’re not sure if he was off his meds or not, but it sounds like he was just from the description of erratic behavior,” Case said of Friday’s incident.
Robles had an altercation Thursday night with his girlfriend, who is the mother of his child, Mitchell said.
“As a result, the mother takes the baby and goes to his mother’s trailer to spend the night,” Mitchell said. “Robles shows up at 5 a.m., and apparently created a scene to the point his mother called us.”
Robles’ mother, Olga Garcia, called police at 6:09 a.m., and Hamilton went to the porch of the residence to speak with the mother, Mitchell said.
Officer Suffers Fatal Wound
“The suspect comes out of the door with a semi-automatic handgun and fired one time, striking the officer in the head,” Mitchell said. Two officers were either on scene or had just arrived at the trailer on Joe Street, Mitchell said.
“They retreated back behind the trailer and fired, striking him in the head,” Mitchell said, noting he didn’t immediately have details of whether one or more officers fired their weapons.
Mitchell said he thought Robles would survive his injury.
“It hit him at just the right angle and went under his skin and around his skull,” Mitchell said. “I just wish our officer had been that lucky.”
Fear Of Police
Robles had a fear of police since the Santa Fe incident, Case said.
“When Sergio saw a police officer, I’m sure that was going through his head,” Case said.
“He told me several times how he was scared driving around when police would drive by. He was just terrified.”
Hamilton, who was a Pasadena police officer for 4 ½ years, is survived by his wife and two children, Mitchell said.
This story is available through KHOU, Ch. 11's partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.