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New details and video on process server's arrest are released - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

New details and video on process server's arrest are released

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BEAUMONT -

Steve Hartman has been a process server for five years, and he admits it can be a dangerous job. However, he never thought he would get arrested inside a courtroom performing his duties.

Hartman's even more surprised at the sworn statements of those who witnessed his arrest, and how he claims they contradict what he says really happened.

Hartman's attorney, John Morgan told us, "The video contradicts all of the witnesses' affidavits totally.  None of the affidavits present truthful evidence.  The video is very clear on that."

The video Morgan is talking about was recorded by a fountain pen camera Hartman had on him on May 28, when he went to serve Judge Layne Walker with lawsuit papers. 

In the video, Hartman is first approached by Deputy Sharon Williams.  But attorney James Makin states that Hartman approached Sergeant Steve Broussard and that he crossed the bar, which is the area that divides where the courtroom personnel sit from the public.

The video shows Deputy Williams going to get Broussard and Broussard coming towards Hartman.

Hartman says, "He started telling me I need to leave.  I politely told him 'no sir'.  And he came and he started to push me, he pushed me towards the back of the courtroom and told me I was under arrest for disturbing."

Attorney Joe Vazquez also gave a sworn statement that Hartman had tried to get to the judge's bench and was intercepted by Sergeant Broussard and that Hartman had attempted to push by Broussard.

But Morgan says, "What the video shows is a very aggressive and hostile, almost accosting by Sergeant Broussard."

Morgan believes the attorneys, courtroom staff and law enforcement gave sworn statements before they knew the incident was being recorded.

According to an investigative summary done by the Sheriff's Office, attorney Rebecca Fleming would not give a statement saying she did not agree with the facts of the affidavit.

The investigative summary also showed that the pen used to record video of the incident was taken home by Sergeant Broussard before being entered into evidence, and according to Hartman replaced with something else.

Hartman told us, "I ended up with some sort of screwdriver."

Hartman was charged with hindering a proceeding by disorderly conduct.

Morgan is asking all charges be dropped as a result of what the video shows.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods has placed Sergeant Broussard on paid leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

The sheriff's office public information officer, Rod Carroll, says the investigation is ongoing.

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