Community leaders stand by Chad Holley despite arrest

Holley's 2010 arrest caught on camera

HOUSTON - Community leaders said that they are standing by Chad Holley after his latest burglary charge because he has a mental condition.

Holley is the teenager whose March 2010 arrest made national headlines because of allegations of police brutality.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said Holley, 18, and three others -- Alexander Babbs, 20, Paulus Jackson, 18, and Donald Toren, 19 -- were seen running out of a home in the 14400 block of Forest Trail in northwest Harris County at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The group got into a car and a neighbor got a license plate number, investigators said. Deputies pulled over the car and took four people, including Holley, into custody, officials said. Holley and the three other suspects were charged with burglary of a habitation and appeared in court early Thursday.

Holley had another court appearance Friday morning. Community activist Quanell X walked into court with Holley, who was only there for a short time. The judge reset his hearing to give him time to hire a lawyer.

"We are still disappointed with this recent arrest. We are still hurt by that, but at the end of the day, I wish we had known more," Quanell X said.

Quanell X blames some of Holley's actions on his refusal to take anti-psychotic medication.

"There's a lot that Mr. Holley needs. I wish I had known Mr. Holley was not taking the medication he was prescribed. I wish I had known he was refusing to take his meds when his mother was trying to do that," Quanell X said.

In magistrate court Thursday, an official read the case against Holley.

"They came out of the home with a laptop. They passed the laptop over the fence as they jumped back over the fence and got back into their car," a court official read.

Babbs, Jackson and Toren all confessed to committing the crime with Holley, the court official said.

Bond was set at $10,000 for Holley and the others. Holley was released from jail shortly after noon. The next court hearing for all four suspects is set for July 18.

Quanell X Stands By Holley

Holley rode home from jail Thursday with Quanell X, who has been one of Holley's biggest supporters. The community activist said he has reached a new conclusion about Holley.

"There is something mentally wrong with Chad Holley," he said.

Quanell X said Holley does not understand the magnitude his decisions. He said Holley has a mental illness and had taken strong anti-psychotic medications for years, but stopped taking the medicine because his insurance benefits ran out when he turned 18 and his mother could not provide the needed medications. 

"He has refused to take his medicine for months now," Quanell X said. "Ms. Holley explained to me clearly that once Chad refused to take those medicines, he became a totally different young man."

Quanell X said this may not be Holley's last arrest.

"If he does not get his mental situation straight, something else stupid and crazy may happen with this young boy," he said. "It's a bad situation."

Holley's civil lawsuit filed against former Houston Police Officer Andrew Blomberg claimed that Holley's mental condition was affected when he was beaten. 

"As a result of Blomberg's excessive and unreasonable use of force against this minor, Chad has sustained head, neck and brain injuries," the lawsuit said. "Chad is undergoing psychological and psychiatric care since the beating and he has been found to be suffering from mental deficits, neurological impairment and psychological malfunctions." 

Quanell X said he did not know if Holley's mental problems started before or after the beating. 

"The medicine bottles I saw had 2011 and 2012 and 2010 on them. Obviously this has been happening since the beating for sure."

Quanell X met with other community leaders Thursday night. They said they want the cases against the three former Houston Police Officers to stand on their own. 

"These officers should be weighed for what they did on that video tape," Quanell X said. "That's clearly criminal conduct and they should go to jail."

Holley Made National Headlines

Holley's first arrest in March 2010 was captured on surveillance cameras installed at a southwest Houston business. The video showed several Houston police officers kicking and stomping him. Holley was 15 at the time. He was later convicted on a burglary charge and given probation.

Four Houston police officers were fired and charged in connection with the arrest. One of them, Andrew Blomberg, was acquitted last month of official oppression, which sparked outrage by some community leaders. All of the jurors were white.

Three more former officers, Drew Ryser, Phillip Bryan and Raad Hassan will be tried on similar charges.

"One of the reasons the trial of the officers was delayed two years is because of pre-trial publicity. So, that's why I'm going to do everything in my power not to make any commentary that would drive that, " Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos said when asked about Holley's latest arrest.

"I don't know the facts and circumstances of his arrest, but really, I have no feeling toward it. He's no different than any other suspect that has been arrested for committing some crime," said HPD Chief Charles McClelland.

McClelland said he doesn't think Holley's latest arrest will play a role in any of the officers' upcoming trials.

"Has no connection to the incident where he was arrested and former police officers are on trial. No connection whatsoever," McClelland said.

Holley's attorney in his civil lawsuit against the officers and city agreed.

"I believe that there are damages that were caused by these officers, and I think they should be made to pay for them under the U.S. Constitution," attorney Ben Hall said.

Neighbor called 911 to report burglary

Brandon Scott lives next door to the home that was broken into and said he called 911 when he noticed some suspicious activity.

"I just witnessed a red vehicle pull up in front of my house and I didn't know them," said Scott.  "I could see people jumping the fence here into my neighbor's yard."

Another neighbor told KPRC Local 2 the suspects kicked down the door and then were seen throwing the stolen items over the fence. 

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