FOX 4 runs with alleged assault by Sheriff while accuser went silent

Photo by Dave A. Vance.
Johnny Brown

ELLIS COUNTY — After contacting media accusing a Sheriff of assault and offering video, the complainant refused to respond to requests for more information, failed to provide the video and shunned all media.

On Monday, January 2 at 5:27 a.m., Matthew Longoria sent an email to Ellis County Citizen claiming that Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown and another individual assaulted him and his friend at Whataburger on Presidential Parkway in Midlothian.

Longoria also offered to provide video evidence of the alleged incident, but failed to respond to requests from Ellis County Citizen and other media outlets.

Longoria wrote:

"My name is Matthew Longoria. One hour into the New Year of 2017, my friends and I all decided to eat at whataburger. Upon arrival, and walking from our car to the entrance of the restaurant, a man driving a silver car drives in the parking lot in such a way that upsets my friend Caleb. Caleb responded by throwing up his arms and giving the man a dirty look, to which the driver responded in the same way. We proceeded to the entrance and got in line to order our food.

While waiting for it to be our turn to order, and scanning the menu board, the man that was driving the vehicle recklessly in the parking lot got in line behind us with a couple of his friends. They made a point to stand as close to us a possible which made us very uncomfortable. When we decided to take a few steps forward to give ourselves some space between them, they did the same and reclosed the gap.

They then began talking amongst themselves at a volume in which it was easy to hear what they were saying. One man says to his friends, "So which one of these faggots is the bad ass?" To which another responded, "I don't know, it was one of these four."

Caleb then turned around to confront these gentlemen by saying, "What's up?"

The man asked if "he was the bad ass," to which Caleb started to respond before being punched in the face more than one time.

In shock, I reacted by pushing the man to the ground.

A man entering the restaurant then charged at me, "Nobody punches my fucking brother," and throwing numerous closed-fists punches at me, two of which struck me.

After restraining the man an calming him down, the folks that were with the two gentlemen started identifying themselves as "the law." When being threatened to have the cops called on them, they laughed and taunted that "they WERE the cops." The man who struck me was identified as Johnny Brown, Ellis County Sheriff, of the last 8 years, which was later confirmed. The man who assaulted Caleb has yet to be named, however has been confirmed to be in the line of law enforcement.

Details are still developing.

I have obtained video footage of the altercation which I will release to you upon request. If you are interested in this story, I have eye witnesses available for statements and interviews. Thank you for your time."

Ellis County Citizen requested to view the video from Longoria shortly after noon on Tuesday, January 3, but did not receive a response. Ellis County Citizen also attempted to contact Longoria on Wednesday, January 4 from a different email address, but did not receive a response.

FOX 4 News in DFW broadcast the story during their 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. news broadcast on Tuesday, January 4 stating that they could not get anyone to go on air, including the two 21-year-old men heading back to Killeen alleged to have been assaulted, while also claiming they had been in email contact with the complainant. However, their news broadcast did not provide any additional information from the complainant than what was provided in the email sent to Ellis County Citizen.

"We reached out to everyone involved in this incident today but no one wanted to talk on camera about what happened instead only communicating through email or phone call or statements," FOX 4 News reporter Brandon Todd stated.

Additionally, FOX 4 News cited an anonymous Whataburger employee claiming the Sheriff had an active role in the fight.

"The Sheriff didn't stop the fight, but instead had a much more active role in it," Todd stated during his news broadcast.

Click here to watch the FOX 4 News story.

Shortly before the FOX 4 News broadcast aired, the law firm, Morgan Taylor PLLC, representing Sheriff Brown issued the following press release.

"On January 1, 2017, Sheriff (Johnny) Brown walked into Whataburger in Midlothian where a fight was already in progress. His initial observation was a large white male assaulting Sheriff Brown's 59 year old brother and knocking him to the floor. As a sworn law enforcement officer he is obligated to preserve the peace. He used the force and language necessary to end the violence, prevent further assaults, and protect others from being harmed. Sheriff Brown instructed a Whataburger employee to call the Midlothian Police Department. Multiple people were involved in the altercation. Midlothian Police responded, assessed the situation, and no arrests were made.

Sheriff Brown is aware that an investigation is being conducted by the Midlothian Police Department. Sheriff Brown is cooperating with Midlothian detectives and welcomes their investigation into this matter.

At this time, Sheriff Brown and his legal counsel, Morgan Taylor, will not provide any further statements until the conclusion of the investigation."

The Midlothian Police Department also issued a press release stating:

"On Sunday January 1, 2017 at 2:06 am, the Northern Ellis Emergency Dispatch (N.E.E.D.) received a 911 call of a “Fight in Progress” at the Whataburger, 2440 Presidential Parkway, Midlothian TX 76065.

The manager at the Whataburger reported that several males had been involved in an altercation, both physical and verbal in nature. Upon arrival, officers spoke with several involved parties and witnesses.

At this point, not all of the people involved in the incident have been interviewed and we do not yet have a clear picture of exactly what transpired. One adult male victim sustained minor injuries.

The Ellis County Sheriff was present during the incident, as were family, friends and possibly co workers. No arrests were made at the scene and no charges have been filed at this time. The incident investigation is in process and the results will be made known as soon as the investigation is complete."