Security Guard Sues DPD and the City, Claims He was Unduly Pistol-Whipped By Off-Duty Cop
Photo by Anna Merlan
Meet Michael Kloever. Again. The 33-year-old security guard was all over the news back in August, when he said he was pistol-whipped by an off-duty Dallas cop in a strip club parking lot after trying to break up what he thought was a fight between club customers. Now Kloever and Cameron Henderson, the man who was pursued and ultimately arrested by that off-duty cop, are suing the officer, the Dallas Police Department and the city.
Kloever was working security in the parking lot outside XTC Cabaret on Stemmons around 3:30 a.m. on August 14. According to the suit, which is below, he saw a man chasing Henderson through the lot. Figuring a fight was afoot, Kloever approached Andrew Clennell, a Dallas police officer who happened to be at the all-nudie joint, and "attempted to intervene." At that point, the suit says:
"Defendant Clennell struck Kloever in the face with the pistol and identified himself as a Dallas Police Officer. Defendant Clennell then continued toward Plaintiff Henderson, who had fallen down, shouting 'DPD' and 'Dallas Police Department.' Upon arriving at the location where Plaintiff Henderson had fallen, Defendant Clennell repeatedly struck Plaintiff Henderson in the back of the head with his pistol."
According to The News 's recap, Henderson had just backed into another security guard with his car. Clennell was trying to help that guard arrest Henderson when he "broke free and ran," with Clennell in pursuit. Kloever joined the chase.
But the lawsuit tells a different story: that Henderson was just trying to drive out of the parking lot when he was apparently accosted by the other security guard. According to the suit, Henderson was driving out when:
"He heard a voice say 'stop' and then saw a man approach his window with a drawn pistol pointed at him. Because of the time of day, location, and the failure of the person with the gun to identify himself as a security officer, Plaintiff Henderson exited his car and began running across the parking lot to escape the armed man. While Plaintiff Henderson was attempting to leave the club, Defendant Clennell, who was off duty and not wearing his City of Dallas Police Department uniform, was attempting to enter the club. While attempting to enter the club with his service pistol, Defendant Clennell became aware of a security guard chasing Plaintiff Henderson in a nearby parking lot. Despite being off duty, out of uniform and having consumed alcoholic beverages, Defendant Clennell began running toward Plaintiff with his service pistol in hand."
Kloever works for a company called Delta Protection Group, and a couple weeks back he was on duty at another place he guards, a strip mall near Preston and Royal. He still had small but angry-looking purple gash under his eye, and said his neck still hurt from the fight.
"It totally changed my mind on working security, I can tell you that," he said. "I don't feel the same about it no more." At the time, he was mulling over a job delivering auto parts. "It sounds like a safer job," he said. But this morning, he told us he's still working security.
Once he discovered Clennell was a cop, Kloever told us, he demanded the officer's badge number. In response, Kloever said, "He told me not to be a fucking pussy."
Kloever's been a security guard all over the city, including five years at a Greyhound bus station in southern Dallas. "But I think that's the first time I've actually been assaulted," he said. "It's ridiculous. ... I've not even received a sorry, an apology, nothing. I didn't receive treatment on the scene. My face was all bruised, swollen, bloody. .. [Clennell] got treated for the gash on his hand he got pistol-whipping me."
"What would've happened if the gun went off?" he said. "I've got a 12-year-old daughter."
Michael Smith, the attorney for Henderson, said in an interview in mid-September that the fight constituted a violation of the civil rights of both Kloever and Henderson. "The officer was acting under color of law when he arrested Cameron Henderson and assaulted both individuals under color of authority," he said. "So that's a violation of both of their civil rights, to assault somebody as a police officer." His client, he said, was doing "OK," adding, "He did get pistol-whipped to the back of the head."
The suit doesn't ask for a specific monetary amount, though it claims Kloever and Henderson experienced mental anguish, emotional distress, pain and suffering, disfigurement, impairment, "loss of earning capacity," "humiliation, embarrassment and damages to their reputation."
Senior Corporal Kevin Janse, a DPD spokesman, says the department doesn't have a comment on the suit. "Our office has not heard about this," he said.
At the time of the incident, initial reports said that Clennell was facing charges from a grand jury. But the following day, The News reported that a magistrate judge had rejected the charges against Clennell, though Janse said the officer remains on paid leave pending an administrative investigation. Kloever and Henderson v DPD and City of Dallas
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