EXCLUSIVE: Woman Claims Son Was Brutalized by Deputies, Sheriff - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

EXCLUSIVE: Woman Claims Son Was Brutalized by Deputies, Sheriff Disagrees

By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

WINKLER COUNTY - It's a classic he said, she said.

Ofelia Enriquez claimed her son is a victim of police brutality at the hands of Winkler County Sheriff's deputies.

"What could he have done to them to be getting hit? He was handcuffed, he was sitting in the car," she said.

But Sheriff George Keely says not so fast.

"I don't think we did anything wrong. I don't think we mildly did anything wrong. I don't think we were even close to using excessive force. In fact, we may not have used enough force," Keely said.

Enriquez's son, Adam Viera, was arrested April first after deputies received a call about a reckless driver. We're told the deputy who worked the case tried several times to pull Viera over but he wouldn't stop. The deputy chased him until finally Viera stopped the truck.

"The driver jumped out of the vehicle, ran up on the porch of his brothers house. Deputy's right behind him saw him do it," Keely said.

According to the report, Viera then became combative and refused to put his hands behind his head or identify himself.

"They went to arrest the driver and he started resisting. They put him on the ground which is our policy," Keely said.

Enriquez told NewsWest 9, this is when the deputies went too far.

"He was in handcuffs and he was already down and Sheriff (sic) Mitchell tased him," she recalled.

The sheriff said that isn't completely accurate.

"They were trying to cuff him but they couldn't. He was kicking and moving. The one deputy took the taser cartridge off and said stop resisting or I'll stun you," he explained.

Sheriff Keely said Viera was tased in the shoulder, but the sheriff says he was not hit when he was put in the car. In one part of the cell phone video of the incident, obtained by NewsWest 9, Enriquez claimed deputies hit her son as they were putting him in the car. NewsWest 9 showed the video to the sheriff and he doesn't think his deputies were in the wrong.

"When a person fights back, the law says we have to use reasonable force. To me, that's what they were doing. Of course they're going to be rough with him, he's fighting them. I looked at the video, I didn't see anything out of line but I'm going to pass this on to the Texas Rangers," he said.

NewsWest 9 did obtain a list of charges against Viera, there are seven in total, including evading, DWI, two counts of assault of a public servant and falsifying a drug test.
 
Still, according to Enriquez, her son was manhandled for no reason.

"He's guilty of what he's guilty of but they shouldn't of treated him that way. They shouldn't have hit him. They think the badge makes them tough? That's not right," she said.

"We are not above the law. We are keepers of the law; peace keepers," Keely said.

Viera is still in jail. 

Also in the report, NewsWest 9 learned Viera was taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol test after refusing one from deputies. The report stated that while at the hospital, Viera fought officers and hospital staff for about 45 minutes. It claimed he also spit at them and told one officer he was going to rape his wife and would get the deputy back when he wasn't wearing his badge.
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