Sunday, November 30, 2008

NFL Star Player's Father Assaulted By Houston Police: In Critical Condition...

Video: Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt On Driver Incident
Police Chief Harold Hurtt talks about the father of a NFL player who was in critical condition Wednesday, two days after an incident in which his family says Houston police officers beat the man while arresting him. Video by Melissa Phillip. Nov. 20

The father of a noted NFL player was in critical condition Wednesday, two days after an incident in which his family says Houston police officers beat the man while arresting him on outstanding traffic warrants.

Police said Marvin Driver, the father of Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, was taken into custody about 1:30 a.m. on Monday. He was unresponsive when he arrived at the Southeast Jail on Mykawa, police said.

Family members say 56-year-old Marvin Driver was beaten by officers after being arrested at his mother's house in southeast Houston.

Late Wednesday, Houston police spokesman Victor Senties declined to address specific questions regarding the allegations. But in a statement, HPD noted that the internal affairs division is investigating claims "that injuries he sustained following his arrest were the result of an assault on Mr. Driver by two HPD officers."

The two accused officers remain on duty pending further investigation, the department said.

The family, however, wants the officers they say are responsible for causing Marvin Driver to suffer a brain hemorrhage, taken off the streets until the investigation is complete. Driver was in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital-The Texas Medical Center on Wednesday.

"He left here in perfect condition, you know," said Winston Driver, Marvin Driver's brother, who witnessed the arrest early Monday. "I could tell by the way the police officers — the way they was grabbing him and pulling him and snatching him, you know — that he was in trouble."

Marvin Driver was in the driveway of his mother's residence in the 8300 block of Gibbons early Monday, when he was approached by a Houston police officer, said family spokesman Quanell X.

"He said, 'You're Donald Driver's father. I went to school with that (expletive),' " said the activist.

That's when Winston Driver said he heard the exchange and stepped outside the home.

"He was told to get his (expletive) behind back in the house," said Quanell X.

As his brother was cuffed, Winston Driver said he called 911 and asked for a sergeant to come to the scene. Quanell X said an officer never came.

"We are asking for Chief (Harold) Hurtt to suspend these officers until the IA (Internal Affairs) investigation is complete," said Quanell X.

The activist said he met with Marvin Driver on Wednesday and that he is improving, but cried while writing notes about his experience. "He just couldn't believe this had happened," Quanell X said. "He grew up in this neighborhood, knew the officer."

KHOU (Channel 11) contributed to this report.

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