The Garza family has lived in the same house on Tiffany Street for more than 40 years. They never imagined having to turn to investigators to prove to Harris County officials that they are not dog owners.
“We were just shocked because you just get a letter, and you’re being sued for something that you don’t even have,” Rosa Garza Baldes, who grew up in the house, said. “We don’t have dogs.”
In April of this year, the Harris County Attorney’s Office sued the Garza family for owning dogs that bit a Harris County Precinct 5 Constable. The alleged incident happened on Feb. 27, 2022, toward the end of a chase.
The lawsuit, though, got one thing wrong.
“It’s not 5334. It’s 5327,” Baldes said.
Harris County sued the wrong home. Across the street, reporters saw a number of small dogs running loose at 5327 Tiffany St.
Incident reports of both the chase and the subsequent bite investigation show the 5327 address. In fact, the City of Houston’s animal control records even had photos of the dogs involved, which clearly match the dogs from the house across the street.
Eduardo Garza, who raised his children and is now raising his grandchildren at 5334 Tiffany St., says the entire family was upset and frustrated. They reached out to reporters after having their calls go unanswered at Harris County.
County officials confirmed on Tuesday that an injury form filled out by someone in the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s office had the wrong address.
The lawsuit is now in the process of being dismissed.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office issued the following statement:
“In this case, Harris County Constable Precinct 5 deputies were pursuing a suspect who was driving at speeds over 100 mph with an outstanding felony warrant and a parole violation. After the suspect fled into a family member’s house, the deputies set up a perimeter and demanded that the suspect come outside. A dog later ran out of the house and bit one of the deputies in front of the house. Houston Fire Department EMS treated the bite. Since the county is self-insured, when a county law enforcement officer is injured by a property owner and uses workers’ comp, the county’s human resources department seeks payment from the property owner to recoup the cost of that officer’s workers comp claim. The county may file a lawsuit if the property owner refuses to pay. In this case, the county’s lawsuit will seek to recoup the cost of the deputy’s workers comp claim after he was bit by the dog.”