From NBC News:

According to the suit, Vieria used his handcuffs like brass knuckles, hitting him at least three times.

The suit says Howard was so terrified, he defecated. It also alleged that Vieria, [Officer Thomas] Serrano and a third officer pulled Howard’s pants down and made fun of him.

According to Vieria’s lawyer, the officer struck Howard in the “shoulder area” three times and once in the head. The account added that Lucas, who sprained his ankle, “probably saved both Howard’s life and possibly that of other motorists.”

Howard was initially charged with evading arrest and possession of more than 4 grams of cocaine, though those charges were later dismissed, Houston Public Media reported.


Howard filed a federal civil lawsuit against Vieria, Serrano, and the city of Houston back in April. A statement released by the Houston Police Department said that Vieria was placed on indefinite suspension on April 16, though KPRC reports that Vieria “is no longer an HPD employee,” and he is currently appealing that decision. It’s unclear whether Serrano is still with the department or faced any disciplinary action.

“We respect the grand jury’s decision,” the department said. “This case is now in the hands of the courts.”