Hospital Patient Takes Stand in Criminal Trial of Fort Worth Officer

December 4, 2019

Russell Wilson was the Special Prosecutor in State vs. Jon Romer

A man who says he was attacked by a Fort Worth police officer testified in the officer’s trial on Wednesday that he had no reason to touch him.

Jon Romer is accused of lying to a grand jury about the incident — which was caught on camera — with then 20-year old Henry Newson in the lobby of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital.

Romer is charged with official oppression and perjury but his current trial focuses on the perjury charge.

Romer pleaded not guilty.

“I was basically telling him I’m already trying to leave,” Newson said. “I don’t understand why your hands are on me forcefully. We started going in a circle because he started to use force and I was confused, like what’s going on?”

The trial started Monday with jury selection and opening statements on Tuesday. 

Newson was questioned by both the prosecution and defense for nearly an hour. 

In his testimony, Newson said he was admitted to the hospital for food poisoning. He said security officers started to harrass him after he asked to borrow a stranger’s cell phone.

Romer, who was working private security at the time, then arrived on the scene.

Much of the trial Wednesday morning was spent watching body camera video showing what happened before and after that confrontation. 

Security officer Jeremy Flores also testified about Newson’s behavior before Romer arrived.

Newson testified that he was never told he was under arrest prior to being punched and choked when the situation escalated. 

Romer’s defense attorneys claim that Newson was being disrespectful during the incident.

Romer has been on restricted duty awaiting the outcome of the criminal trial, stripped of his gun and badge.

A lawsuit is also pending against Romer, security officer Flores and another security officer at the scene, Jonathan Walterbach.