Ex-officer on trial for Chad Holley beating takes the stand

Drew Ryser took the stand to tell his side of the story

By Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Testimony continued Thursday in the trial for a former Houston police officer who's facing charges in the Chad Holley videotaped beating. Former HPD officer Drew Ryser took the stand to tell his side of the story.

Ryser told the packed courtroom that he feared Holley was armed as he and other officers tried to arrest him. Ryser can be seen in the surveillance video wearing a protective vest. He said the whole time he was focused on the 15-year-old's hands.

"Hands kill," Ryser told the jury.

In the video, Ryser appears to kick Holley repeatedly. But on the stand the former officer said he did not kick Holley, but rather used "stab steps" to try to make him to comply with officers commands to put his hands behind him.

Ryser said he pulled Holley several inches off the ground, but said the teenager pulled one hand away and put it under his body.

"I thought he was reaching for a gun." Ryser testified.

Ryser said he then hit Holley in the nose, he said, trying to force him to allow officers to handcuff put on handcuffs, and frisk him for weapons.

Feeling himself losing balance, Ryser testified he grabbed the fence to steady himself, and then used knee strikes to try to force Holley to comply.

It all happened in the blink of an eye, the former officer said. Once Holley was handcuffed, Ryser said he never touched him again.

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