Man mistakenly caught in drug sting in Houston

Man who gave homeless man 75 cents gets pulled over by police

HOUSTON - A man said he was wrongly targeted by Houston police, handcuffed and detained for more than an hour, after he gave a homeless man 75 cents.

Greg Snider said he was driving in downtown Houston around 2 p.m., when he pulled into a parking lot at Commerce and La Branch to take a business call.

"That's when the homeless man came up to me. He said, 'Hey my name is Dave. I'm from Dallas. I'm down on my luck. Do you have any change,'" said Snider.

Snider said he gave the man some change and drove off.

"I had no idea at all what was about to happen," said Snider.

After Snider pulled onto I-10, he said a police car with flashing lights and sirens pulled behind him.

"I put my hazards on to let him know, 'Hey, I see you,'" said Snider. "This is a really bad part of I-10 to be pulled over on, so I was trying to find a safe place to pull over."

Snider said he was shocked by what the police officer did next.

"He's screaming. He's yelling. He's telling me to get out of the car. He's telling me to put my hands on the hood," said Snider.

Snider said the officer pulled him out of the car, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a police car, as ten more police cars were also pulling up.

"They're like, 'We saw you downtown. We saw what you did,'" said Snider. "I was like, 'Are you kidding me? I gave a homeless man 75 cents.'"

Snider said the officer accused him of giving the man drugs. The officer asked to search Snider's car and Snider said he agreed.

The officer brought in drug sniffing dogs. Snider said he sat handcuffed for an hour until an officer told him their search turned up no drugs.

"He said everything was a misunderstanding and that I was free to go," said Snider.

Snider said the officers were laughing. Snider said he found nothing funny about the officers' actions or the damage they caused to his car during the search. Snider filed a complaint with the police Internal Affairs Department.

Local 2 contacted Houston police. A spokesperson confirmed Greg Snider filed a complaint. Police would not comment further about the incident.

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