AP NEWS

Harris County jailer no-billed

March 28, 2019

A Harris County grand jury this week declined to indict a jailer accused of pulling a gun on a woman outside a dollar store last year, court records show.

Terence Ryans was initially charged with a second-degree felony in September, though from the start the detention officer was adamant that he didn’t do anything wrong and never made any threats.

“I am pleased with the result,” defense attorney Nathan Hennigan said this week in response to the decision. “I don’t believe the case should have been filed in the first place. Now Mr. Ryans should be able to continue his career serving the citizens of Harris County.”

The charge stemmed from an altercation last fall in a Dollar Tree parking lot on North State Highway 6, when Ryans and another customer were vying for a parking space.

The officer allegedly hit the left side of a woman’s car, sparking a heated disagreement. Though the woman claimed that Ryans had threatened her with a gun, Ryans and his attorney insisted that never happened and that the woman had aggressively started banging on his car.

The longtime public servant was lawfully carrying a pistol at the time, but never took it out after the fender bender, his lawyer said. After an onlooker called 911, Ryans was taken into custody and put on desk duty.

An internal investigation is still pending.

“Upon his arrest, Detention Officer Terence Ryans was placed on civilian administrative duty pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings,” Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jason Spencer said Thursday. “The results of an Internal Affairs Bureau investigation into the incident will soon be presented to the sheriff’s Administrative Disciplinary Committee for review and possible disciplinary recommendations.”

keri.blakinger@chron.com