The Alamo star claims his civil rights were violated during an arrest in Austin

By Kelly Roberts
Updated January 20, 2005 02:00 PM

Actor Jason Patric has filed a lawsuit against an Austin, Texas, police officer for allegedly violating his civil rights during an arrest in March 2004.

The 38-year-old Alamo and Speed 2 star accuses officer Joshua Visi of using excessive force and falsely imprisoning him. Patric was charged last March with public intoxication and evading arrest, but the charges were dropped a month later. Prosecutors said Patric’s actions of retracting his arm while an officer tried to handcuff him did not constitute resisting arrest, and they couldn’t prove he was intoxicated.

“Although Mr. Patric was doing nothing illegal, was sober and was clearly not a danger to himself or to others, Officer Visi threatened to arrest Mr. Patric for public intoxication,” the lawsuit says, according to the Associated Press.

The lawsuit claims that Visi, who brought Patric to the ground while handcuffing him, was unnecessarily forceful during the incident. Patric also claims in the lawsuit, which was filed Jan. 14 in U.S. District Court in Austin, that he was defamed because of the allegations.

The City of Austin also is named as a defendant in the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.

Austin police have not commented on the lawsuit.

A local Austin actor, who had a bit part in The Alamo and was with Patric at the time of the arrest, tells PEOPLE that the Narc star was not drunk during the run-in with police.

“We were just all walking and trying to hail a cab when these two officers sped by on bicycles and yelled at all of us to get out of the street,” said Joey Ferguson, 33. “We weren’t doing anything wrong at all.”

Adds Ferguson: “Patric stood up for us, he kept asking the officer why he was being like this and that’s what got him arrested.”