Guy Says He Gave Homeless Man 75 Cents, Wound Up Handcuffed in Back of Cop Car
Greg Snider has a question for the Houston Police Department that we don't find unreasonable but that HPD finds freakin' annoying: He says he wants to know why multiple police officers descended upon him, handcuffed him and shoved him in the back of a squad car for an hour after he gave a homeless dude some spare change.
Hey, HPD, if it's not too much trouble, could this dude find out why he was detained for an hour and utterly humiliated?
The 41-year-old father of four says it all happened January 8 after he left a job site at Hardy and Hays streets. Snider, who says he works for a company that provides ultrasound services for the oil and gas industry, was talking with a client on his phone while looking for I-10 West -- he was headed to his home in Katy. He says he got turned around, and decided to pull over and finish his call.
He wasn't paying attention to where exactly he pulled over, but it was by a park-and-pay lot on Commerce Street near La Branch or Austin.
A homeless man came up to his window and gave a hard-luck story about being from Dallas and being down on his luck, but Snider motioned that he was on the phone. The dude moved along to some passers-by, then circled back to Snider.
"I looked down and I had 75 cents sitting in my cupholder," Snider tells Hair Balls. He gave it to the dude, shook his hand, rolled up his window and found his way to I-10.
Near the Washington exit, Snider says, a cop car pulled up behind him and threw on the siren and lights. Snider says he drove a little further -- to near the I-10/610 interchange -- to find a safe spot to pull over. This was probably a mistake, as it apparently frustrated the officer.
"He comes up to the car all aggressively and starts yelling at me to get out," Snider says. "...he's cursing, he's yelling at me to get out of the car and put my hands on the hood."
Here's where Snider made his next mistake: He first refused to get out of the car, telling the officer he had no clue why he was being pulled over. That's when, according to Snider, the officer pulled him out of his car by his arm.
Snider says the officer told him, "You have the whole Houston narcotics team on your ass right now." By this time, Snider says, about seven police cars -- patrol, as well as unmarked -- arrived. He estimates between ten and 12 officers were on the scene.
"They're telling me they know what I did, I should know what I did," Snider says. An undercover officer yelled at him for not pulling over sooner, and explained, "We saw you back there doing a drug deal." (The undercover officers split after about ten minutes, Snider says.)
Snider was cuffed and put into the back of one of the cars. He says he repeatedly asked why he was being detained, but the officer sitting behind the wheel ignored him.
When a K-9 unit arrived, Snider gave permission for them to search his car. At first, Snider says, the dog was eager -- the dog was jumping up and pawing the vehicle, scratching the paint. But once inside, Snider says, "The dog was clearly not interested in my car...The dog would jump out, and they would push him back in."
After searching the interior and the truck, the officers then frisked Snider, who was still asking what was going on. He says one of the officers told him, "I'll have somebody...explain everything to you when we're done with the paperwork, when we're done with everything."