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Thursday, July 11, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Don’t Try This at Home – or Anywhere

HOUSTON (CN) - A drunk driver crashed into a man's car and as the shaken man tried to call 911 the drunk snatched his cell phone and threw it into the burning car, the injured motorist claims in court.

Holland Joe Smith sued Leonardo Aviles in Harris County Court.

He claims Aviles ran a red light and smashed into him at the busy intersection of Bellaire and Sam Houston Parkway, on April 12.

Smith claims in the lawsuit that Aviles crashed into his car after running a red light.

"Plaintiff attempted to use his cell phone to dial 911 to summon emergency when defendant, who was drunk, took plaintiff's cell phone from plaintiff and threw the cell phone into plaintiff's burning vehicle," the complaint states.

Aviles was arrested for driving under the influence, Smith says.

Aviles also was later charged with interfering with an emergency phone call, a misdemeanor. That charge confirms the allegation in Smith's lawsuit; it claims Aviles interfered with an emergency call to Houston police "by throwing the complainant's telephone into the fire."

Smith seeks punitive damages for negligence and gross negligence, and damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, physical impairment and lost wages.

He is represented by Daragh Carter with Smith and Hassler of Houston.

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