WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — A woman has filed an excessive force lawsuit against a Williamson County Sheriff's Office deputy, claiming the 2019 arrest stemmed from her not giving the deputy her name during questioning.
The arrest involving Marquina Gilliam-Hicks and WCSO deputy Sean Feldmann happened at around 4:30 a.m. on June 2, 2019, after Feldmann responded to a noise complaint at Gilliam-Hicks' apartment complex. Gilliam-Hicks was being dropped off at the complex by her friend, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit states that Feldmann approached Gilliam-Hicks and her friend about the noise complaint call he had received. Gilliam-Hicks and her friend allegedly apologized to Feldmann about the noise and advised him that Gilliam-Hicks was being dropped off at her apartment.
According to the lawsuit, Feldmann demanded Gilliam-Hicks to tell him her name, which she refused to do. The lawsuit says that during the exchange, Gilliam-Hicks' friend eventually told Feldmann her name. The lawsuit says that Feldmann "needlessly escalated" the situation, demanding that Gilliam-Hicks give him her name when he could have ran a background check on the name he was given.
"When [Feldmann] realized that [Gilliam-Hicks] would not capitulate to his overreaching demands, Feldmann quickly lost his temper, yelled 'That's it!,' and lunged at [Gilliam-Hicks]. Feldmann grabbed [Gilliam-Hicks]'s person and told her she was under arrest," the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit claims Feldmann "began to wrangle with" Gilliam-Hicks and was "manhandling and assaulting her while attempting to put handcuffs on her." Feldmann then bear-hugged Gilliam-Hicks, picked her up off of her feet and slammed her to the ground, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims Feldmann pinned Gilliam-Hicks to the ground and elbowed her head, neck and chest while kneeling on her.
According to the lawsuit, an officer with the Leander Police Department arrived at the scene in response to an earlier radio call issued by Feldman. Gilliam-Hicks was back on her feet when the LPD officer arrived and she allegedly ran toward the LPD officer asking for help.
The lawsuit said that the LPD officer described her first observations of Gilliam-Hicks during the incident in her official report as:
"[Gilliam-Hicks] was quickly walking in circles around the vehicle to avoid the officer who was attempting to detain her in handcuffs. As I came up to the incident, [Gilliam-Hicks ] who was avoiding [Feldmann] came up to me asking me to help her. [Gilliam-Hicks ] kept telling [Feldmann] to get away from her because she had not done anything wrong. [Gilliam-Hicks] walk towards me in a manner that I interpreted as her being in a scared state of mind for her own safety. [Gilliam-Hicks] placed her hands on the front of my shoulders in a non-aggressive manner and asked me to help her."
Feldmann allegedly told the LPD officer he heard the disturbance in the parking lot himself and made no mention of any phone call received, the lawsuit says.
This lawsuit filed against Feldmann is the latest of many against Williamson County deputies for excessive force.
KVUE has reached out to Williamson County for comment regarding this lawsuit and has not yet heard back. This story will be updated with the county's response once it is received.
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