GALVESTON, TX — More than a dozen wedding guests were brutalized by police officers during a raid on a wedding party at a hotel. Cops fired tasers, used batons, and generously applied pepper spray to the guests of a bride and groom hours after their wedding. Among them was former pro-baseball star Brandon Backe, who said the shoulder injuries that he received from police caused his pitching career to end.
After causing a gaping head wound, bruises, hair pulled out, a broken nose, and pepper spray on numerous individuals, the only reprimand any of the officers received was a paperwork violation. Interestingly, none of the 3 dozen cops reported any use of force.
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.”