The beating of a homeless man in Dallas resulted in a guilty plea for assault and a law suit. A manager and co-owner of a Fair Park area pizzeria claimed that the homeless man failed to pay for his meal and fearing that he may have a weapon, the manager beat and stripped the homeless man. Initially police arrested the homeless man on a charge of credit card abuse. However, after further investigation the police arrested and charged the restaurant co-owner with a Class A misdemeanor assault charge. Later the manager plead guilty to a felony assault charge. He was also a defendant in a subsequent civil law suit.
On October 13, 2010 at around 10:40pm, Hermilo Aguilar-Martinez, aged 61, ate at the Pizza Lounge, located on 841 Exposition Ave., Dallas, Texas. After completing his meal, Aguilar-Martinez attempted to pay with a credit card issued in someone else’s name. The card payment was declined, at which point the restaurant manager and co-owner, Michael William Liebermann, took matters into his own hands and beat Aguilar-Martinez. According to a police report, Liebermann complained about people failing to pay for their food at his business. Liebermann, with the assistance of a restaurant employee, took Aguilar-Martinez outside. The employee then returned to the restaurant. Liebermann proceeded to strike Aguilar-Martinez several times around the upper legs and body with a metal pipe or mop/brush handle. Liebermann then ordered Aguilar-Martinez to remove his clothing, which Aguilar-Martinez refused to do.
Liebermann pulled down Aguilar-Martinez’s pants and beat Aguilar-Martinez on his unclothed body. A witness, John Beach, described how Aguilar-Martinez responded to the beating: “The guy grabbed his genitalia and curled up in a ball and he was moaning.”
Responding police arrested Aguilar-Martinez on a felony charge of credit card abuse. This charge was later dropped when a Dallas County Grand Jury no-billed this charge.
During a videotaped interview, Liebermann admitted to striking Aguilar-Martinez several times and removing his clothing. Liebermann feared Aguilar-Martinez may have a weapon in his pockets and that Aguilar-Martinez refused to keep his hands out of his pockets. After a police investigation, Lieberman was charged with a Class A Misdemeanor assault of Aguilar-Martinez. Later, the charges were upgraded to a felony charge of aggravated assault/deadly weapon. Liebermann pleaded guilty on August 12, 2012.
On October 12, 2012 Aguilar-Martinez filed a law suit against defendants Liebermann and Greazy Bleaks, LLC, doing business as the Pizza Lounge, seeking damages for infliction of bodily injury/assault, vicarious liability and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The case was set for dismissal pursuant to Rule 165(a) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedures on February 11, 2013. Based on a February 7, 2013 notice from Aguilar-Martinez’s attorney of plaintiff’s Notice of Nonsuit, the court granted the notice and dismissed the case on February 19, 2013.
Goldstein, Scott. “Co-owner of Fair Park-are Pizza Lounge faces misdemeanor assault charge.” Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, October 23, 2010. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2010/10/23/Co-owner-of-Fair-Park-area-2997 (accessed 2018-06-23)
Lee, David. “Bonkers at the Pizzeria.” Courthouse News Service, October 17, 2012 https://www.courthousenews.com/Bonkers-at-the-Pizzeria/ (accessed 2018-06-23)
“Michael Liebermann, Pizza Shop Owner, Sued By Man He Beat and Stripped.” Huffington Post, October 18, 2012. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/pizza-shop-owner-sued-by-_n_1973884.html (accessed 2018-06-23)
Aguilar-Martinez V Liebermann, No. CC1206207D (Dallas February 19, 2013).
“Plaintiff’s Original Petition, Jury Demand, and Request for Disclosure.” October 12, 2012.
Judge Notice to dismiss pursuant to Rule 165a of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, October 22, 2012.
Order on Plaintiff’s Notice of nonsuit. February 19, 2013.
Don Tittle JD, “Notice of Nonsuit” February 7, 2013.
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1435952/trcp-all-updated-with-amendments-effective-january-1-2018.pdf (accessed 2018-06-23).