A dozen wedding guests were beaten, tased, pepper sprayed, and arrested.
April 22, 2014
An event that should have been happy and memorable turned into violence and chaos when the Galveston Police got involved. A couple had just exchanged their vows and were celebrating with friends and family at the San Luis Hotel.
Everything was fine until an off-duty police officer thought that he had witnessed the bride’s brother, Daniel “Cole” O’Balle, 19, walking outside with an alcoholic beverage in his hand. Suspecting an under-aged adult had consumed a beverage without government permission, and violated the “open container” prohibition law, he phoned the police department for backup.
Police officers arrived to confront Mr. O’Balle. Joe and Shannon Belluomini, guests of the wedding party, witnessed the altercation and said that O’Balle was complying with security. Nonetheless, “out of nowhere, mayhem started,” explained Joe Belluomini to KTRK.
When the Belluominis tried to defuse the situation, they became targets themselves. Shannon Belluomini explained to KTRK that her husband was grabbed by the throat as Mr. O’Balle was assaulted. “The officer that had a baton in his hand started beating Cole with it. And then there just seemed like there were more and more officers.”
As Shannon Belluomini witnessed Cole O’Balle getting pummeled with baton strikes, she tried to intercede to protect his head, which was gashed open and bleeding. “That’s when they grabbed hold of me and threw me backwards and basically encased me with mace. It felt like acid being poured over my face and my eyes and my chest.”
As the commotion ensued, the wedding party came out to see what was the matter. Police lashed out violently to all who came within striking distance.
A total of 34 officers stormed the scene, prepped to handle what was described as a “riot.” Witnesses said the officers swarmed into the bar swearing at patrons and beating, pepper spraying, and tasering people without provocation.
Gil O’Balle, the father of the bride, saw that the police had split his son’s skull open and was attacked himself just for asking what had happened. Gil was then tased, pepper sprayed, and arrested
“I never thought I would have to go into a room and pray for my brothers life within hours of getting married,” said the bride, Amanda Lankford to KTRK.
Cole O’Balle had to be flown via helicopter to a hospital for immediate medical care. Cops arrested 13 people for ‘resisting arrest.’
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