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Paul Hicks strode into the Tarrant County Southwest Subcourthouse on an unseasonably hot Friday afternoon last September. The Fort Worth resident was there to help an absent friend with an eviction form at the Justice of the Peace’s office.

Hicks is a fit and youngish 63, a jack of all trades with piercing blue eyes and a Marlboro Man-with-a-mullet vibe. He’s also someone who takes a stand when he sees something wrong. That’s one reason he tried to get elected to the Fort Worth City Council a few years back without success.

Persistence is one of his traits. But one man’s persistence is another man’s pushy smart aleck.

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Hicks has come to know this courthouse on Granbury Road quite well. A couple of years earlier, he clashed with Justice of the Peace Gary Ritchie over a separate matter. In the somewhat sterile lobby environs on this Friday, Sept. 25, Hicks was in the constable’s office trying to clear up a situation. Hicks was wearing his usual cowboy boots with a red t-shirt tucked smartly into tight blue jeans. He thought the chief deputy constable had mixed up a date, and in a normal speaking voice Hicks made a crack about how someone earning $80,000 a year ought to get his dates right. Hicks was talking to a clerk and didn’t realize the chief deputy was in a nearby room and within earshot. Chief Deputy Mark Ortega stepped into the lobby and said his salary was irrelevant.

He and Hicks discussed the eviction problem briefly, but Ortega appeared agitated and left the room after a couple of minutes. Constable Jon Siegel took over the conversation, but he too gave up after a few minutes. Hicks ended up talking to five different county employees that afternoon without, in his mind, getting his primary question answered. Hicks felt he was getting the runaround by public servants who seemed to dislike him.

Hicks: “I would like this mess to be straightened out.” Photo by Jeff Prince.

Then he felt the hard, unforgiving tile floor of the Southwest Subcourthouse as deputies handcuffed him, dragged him to a hallway, and forced him down to his knees. Hicks got an up-close look at those tan tiles. His wire-rim eyeglasses were almost touching the floor while deputies had him bent over, searching his pockets.

Courthouse video cameras captured the action but not the sound. The surveillance footage shows Hicks discussing his situation for about 30 minutes before his arm is grabbed by a deputy who was working in the office and is led toward the main hallway, the one that connects the various courthouse rooms. By the time the hallway camera picks up the action, two deputies are holding Hicks by his arms as Ortega follows. Hicks shows little resistance before deputies put him on the ground.

Unbeknownst to the others, Hicks was holding a digital recorder in his hand. He recorded most of the conversations that day, including those among the deputies who arrested him. The audio file, when synchronized with the surveillance footage, offers a clearer picture of the incident. And Hicks thinks it’s no coincidence that the charges against him for disorderly conduct were later dropped after being brought against him in the heat of the moment. Hicks was handed a plea declaration saying he was charged with disorderly conduct and asked to check “guilty,” “no contest,” or “not guilty.” Hicks checked not guilty and was escorted by deputies out of the building.

In an interview with the Fort Worth Weekly, the constable defended his deputies and said Hicks brought his troubles onto himself by refusing to listen. Hicks is threatening to sue the county using the audio file as evidence of mistreatment.

Without the recording, he said, “it would have been their word against mine, and I would have lost.”

He might still lose. Nothing is certain in lawsuits. The constable’s staff spent a lot of time talking to Hicks and being courteous before things went south.

“You can only explain something to someone just so long,” Siegel told the Weekly.

But the county employees also seemed unwilling to consider that they might have made a mistake. The recorder snatched interesting bits of conversation that a jury might interpret as staffers being heavy handed. Or not.

Hicks has at least 10,000 reasons to pursue litigation –– that’s how many dollars he says he’s spent on legal fees to fight the charge that was later dropped.

Win or lose, Hicks says a lawsuit might make this Justice of the Peace, this constable, and these deputies feel some heat, which is suitable because, well, they’re “a bunch of arrogant bastards,” Hicks said.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. This information was not available at press time:

    Fort Worth police spokesman Sgt. Steve Enright confirmed that a police detective advised Paul Hicks to get an eviction notice from the justice of the peace. The detective said that Mr. Reeves’ unwanted housemate could be evicted because she had “a key to the home, had clothing in the residence, and received mail at the residence.”

  2. If you had to bet good money on it….how many of the inbred Pigs do you figure are card-carying Baggers? There folks, you can see with your own eyes our tax-money at work. Lets all salute the flag. What would Donald Trump do???

  3. Are you kidding me?! It sounds like this Hicks guy or his mentally incapable friend (whom he probably met in a mental ward someplace) are pretty dumb for not getting proper legal advice BEFORE filing the eviction. Umm from what I’ve read they were trying to evict a person from a place that he/she did not live and wanted that person served somewhere else. How is that legal?! If that were the case, there would be cases filed everyday against people that shouldn’t be! Boy, am I glad this DID NOT get served and set the precidence for things like this! And sounds like another “police doing something bad” kinda thing but I didn’t see anything wrong here….AGAIN. ugh, so disgusted with stupid people making stupid accusations about public servants trying to do their jobs! I betcha that if the public heard the recorded audio of this we would all see another twisted spin on a story by both the media and a stupid person that cannot listen to what he’s being told by 5 people apparently then get steamed up when they’ve had enough repeating theirselves for several minutes/hours, and be escorted out of the building. And everyone knows when an officer tells you to do something you do it or there will be consequeces.

    • Do you expect to grow up and amount to something some day SickofHearing? Did you catch that Tea-Bagging stupidity from your parents or our local Pigs ? Does your breath stink like those Justice of the Peace Peckerwood Pigs? Are you man enough to cop to you being a bone-headed butt-wipe? How old are you?

  4. Sick of hearing this did you read the article in its full content? or Were you just quick to judge. Have you actually looked at the fact that a justice of the piece does not require any law experience and they govern a courtroom. Calling people stupid is just lowering your own mentality. Have a great day.

  5. What is it with Baggers & other knuckle-heads? Can’t they read, are they deaf and blind in addition to being egg-sucking half-wits? What everyone knows, if they have a brain as honest as my bird-dogs, is that Pigs behave often times like Pigs. There is nothing new to see here. Tea-Bagging fruit-loops are more common than fire-ants in Texas Police ranks. One was caught lest than two weekks ago, in far East Texas, honking anothers horn in the Court House restroom, bless his heart! A sweet lady hung herself and died in a Texas jail a month ago. It was the worse case of changing lanes without signaling that the Pig had ever seen, the hero Pig reported. A Fort Worth Pig shot down an elderly gentleman, who was in his own garage five homes away and across the street from where the idiot Fort Worth Pig
    was dispatched to look after a home burgler alarm sounding. Pigs are Pigs,,,hooray for Pigs and may God help us square folks! Do you go in for the tooth fairy jive too? Your Mama have any brats worth a dime? You a Tea Bagging, Donnie Trump voter? You’re on my Prayer List Dear!

  6. Hey Mr. Hicks…..Could I suggess that you crank up some way that folks can donate a few bucks to help with lawyer expenses? I’m thinking it might be a problem finding a decent local lawyer for ovious reasons ( you see how you were treated by the hero public servants). How about Dallas or Weatherford lawyers? Lon Burnum is a stone straight shooter, maybe he can reconmend someone. The rat-bastards at the court-house truly should do some time but, as you know, it won’t happen. I have delt with a couple of those hammer-headed mullets my own self and my experience is that Pigs often times behave like Pigs. Really, there is nothing new to see. Brilliant move recording those rat-pigs. My hat is off to you Sir.

    • Benny, I’m curious how in your vast font of knowledge you’ve concluded that Dallas and Weatherford lawyers are better or more honest than those in Fort Worth. You’re a mindless moron. You constantly beclown yourself on these pages. Everyone’s laughing at you, including those who share your liberal political persuasion.

      • Roses are red, violets are blue, Peckerwoods are Peckerwoods, sad but true, I’m talking to you, take something for it Poo-Poo if you can’t firure it out…O.K.? God bless you.

  7. @Benny. You are mentally disturbed. You do essentially the same name-calling in each post. No substance whatever. You are a disgrace to the Weekly’s good works.

    • You’re the jerk shooting blanks Bobby boy, what’s up with you ? I feel just fine. You are the one bitching & gritching. Take something for it, get you a life Dude. Your Mama have any brats worth a dime? Talking about disgrace, I’m not the hero who fired the most fine editor and hard-working, prize winning boss in all of Texas and I suspect the USA a short time back. Ask the hero who owns the Weekly about that. You one of those Tea-Bagging, half-wits Bobby ? You would not know disgrace if it bit you on your stinking nose. You a Repug Yankee, sure sounds like it. You ever read the paper back when it won prize after prize after prize for it’s news ? What causes you to feel entitled to call the shots Slick ? How old are you? Where you come from? What do you eat?.You are more flaky than a box of Post Toasties, wise up kid.

    • You are most certainly a liar and a dipstick, however you are not a Democrat. How old are you kid? Average household variety, greed-heads despise tea-bagging jerk-offs like they do cancer or paying their fair taxes . You need some kind of prize however. How old are you kid? What do you eat? Who pays your bills? Think you will ever amount to anything?

  8. To Benjie. How old are you kid? You living on government cheese? Did you go to school? What do you eat? Who pays your bills? Think you will ever amount to anything? Are you on SNAP? Do you brush your teeth? You still using old newspapers for toilet paper? Come clean; confess; repent.

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