A federal lawsuit was filed Monday after police dash cam video recorded a Texas police officer striking an unarmed suspect with his patrol vehicle. According to the lawsuit, the suspect suffered three fractured ribs, a broken leg, and a fractured spine.
On November 23, 2020, Lake Worth Police Officer Jonathan Granado attempted to pull over Dustin Bates because the license plate on his motorcycle was obscured, and Officer Granado suspected the vehicle might be stolen. Instead of pulling over, Bates drove away and led Granado on a brief pursuit.
According to Lake Worth Police Chief J.T. Manoushagian, the motorcycle was not stolen, but Bates was in possession of half an ounce of methamphetamine and had a parole warrant out for his arrest. After driving onto a grass median, Bates lost control of the motorcycle before fleeing on foot across the road and into a grassy field.
In the police dash cam video, Granado appeared to intentionally drive off the road and hit Bates with the front of his police SUV. Investigators determined that Granado was driving about 45 mph when he struck Bates.
The lawsuit stated that Granado “had now driven his SUV directly toward Mr. Bates so that Mr. Bates was centered in front of the [Granado’s] SUV.” Bates suffered a fracture in his spine, three fractures of his ribs, and two fractures in his right leg, according to the lawsuit.
Although police claim that Bates could have suffered those injuries when he crashed the motorcycle, Bates was not limping and did not seem to be wounded before the police vehicle hit him. Bates was initially charged with evading arrest and drug possession, but those charges were dismissed in August 2021.
Chief Manoushagian confirmed that Granado resigned from the department and had used poor judgment when he struck Bates. A grand jury decided not to file criminal charges against Granado.
On Monday, Bates filed a federal lawsuit accusing Granado of using excessive force when the former officer hit him with the patrol vehicle.