Former Pharr police chief sues officers who arrested him in September

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Andy Harvey

Former Pharr Chief of Police and City Manager Andy Harvey has filed another lawsuit, this time in federal court, against two Pharr police officers who responded to his home and arrested him in September of last year.

The 21-page lawsuit, which was filed pro se Wednesday morning, named Pharr police officers Jose Montiel and Anthony Garcia as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Harvey claims that his fundamental rights were infringed upon, and that he was “subjected to a series of unjust actions, including but not limited to retaliation, discrimination, systematic harassment, selective enforcement, false arrest, illegal searches and seizures, abuse of power, cruel and unusual punishment, excessive force, fabrication of evidence, case fixing, aggravated perjury, and corruption.”

As of Wednesday, court records did not list an attorney for the officers, but indicated that they had been served with the lawsuit.

Harvey, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Pharr mayor in 2023, has now filed three lawsuits against Pharr authorities since he resigned from his role as Pharr’s city manager on Sep. 6, 2022, and chief of police on Sep. 12, 2022.

Police responded to Harvey’s home on the evening of Sep. 23, 2023 after he allegedly made a silent abusive call to 911. Responding officers attempted to detain the former police chief, during which two officers were allegedly struck by Harvey. He was arrested and charged with abuse of 911 service, a class B misdemeanor, and resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor.

He was later no-billed and the charges were dismissed.

“Officer Jose A. Montiel #9370 was aided by Officer Anthony Garcia, who not only condoned but also failed to rectify this unlawful behavior by refusing to intervene and halt Officer Montiel’s illegal, unconstitutional, and outrageous conduct,” the lawsuit claims.

Harvey also claims that the defendants placed him in an “unauthorized chokehold, a Maximum Restraint Technique (MRT), to severely injure him” and then fabricated evidence against him.

According to the lawsuit, Harvey is seeking compensatory damages for up to $10 million, as well as attorney fees and the implementation of training protocols by the Department of Justice “to investigate and stop future civil violations and effectively discipline the conduct of the City of Pharr, the Pharr Police Department and the misconduct done by its officers and others.”

An initial hearing has been scheduled for June.