Brownwood attorney Bill Ruth told two deputies he wasn’t going anywhere when deputies served him with an arrest warrant for contempt of court Friday, leading to an altercation in which Ruth was tased by one of the deputies.
Those are among the details in a report by sheriff’s Cpl. Taylor Fletcher on Ruth’s arrest, which occurred shortly after 6 p.m. at his mother’s home on County Road 233.
Ruth, 53, was taken to the Brown County Jail, where he is to serve 30 days for contempt of court, and was also charged with assault on a public servant, resisting arrest and evading arrest, jail records state.
Visiting Judge Brad Underwood signed an order of commitment on Dec. 17 ordering Ruth to serve 30 days for contempt of court, a document filed in Brown County District Clerk Cheryl Jones’ office states.
The contempt charge is related to a civil case in which plaintiff John Green sued Memorial Park Medical Center. Ruth was the attorney for Memorial Park, court documents state. Ruth failed to comply with a court order to pay attorney’s fees totaling $6,500 and to provide discovery documents to Green’s attorney, Robert Reich, court documents state.
The 30-day jail confinement was probated for 60 days to allow time for the payment of attorney’s fees and for Ruth to provide “answers to interrogatories in aid of judgment to Robert E. Reich,” the order of commitment states.
Ruth “has violated both terms of the 60-day probation,” the order states.
According to Fletcher’s report:
Fletcher and deputy Scotty Burke met with Ruth at his mother’s property Friday. The deputies found Ruth watering animals behind the house and told him he had a warrant.
The deputies accompanied Ruth into the kitchen of the residence to look over paperwork which Ruth believed nullified the arrest warrant. Those documents were from Travis County and were dated from 2016 to 2018.
Fletcher contacted dispatch to verify the warrant, which was entered after any of Ruth’s paperwork had been dated. Burke also reviewed the documents, and Fletcher asked Ruth if he wanted to keep the documents with him or leave them at his mother’s house.
That’s when Ruth told the deputies he wasn’t going anywhere. Ruth turned away, and Fletcher told Ruth he was under arrest. As Fletcher went to restrain Ruth, Ruth turned and pushed Fletcher’s arm away as Ruth ran into the living room.
Fletcher attempted to restrain Ruth in the living room, and Ruth knocked Fletcher’s hands away and struck Fletcher in the chest with both hands in an attempt to push away the deputy.
Ruth swung and tried to hit Fletcher at least two more times before he went to the floor, then jumped back up and ran across the living room, placing a brick pillar between Ruth and the deputies.
Ruth performed a “dodging maneuver” behind the pillar and slipped down. Burke tried to put Ruth back on the floor as Ruth got up, but Ruth charged past toward Fletcher. Fletcher deployed his Taser, and both probes struck Ruth in his shoulder.
Ruth continued moving past Fletcher to the couch, where he fell face down on the couch and began to get back up. Fletcher applied a second Taser cycle, then approached Ruth to restrain him and told him to stop resisting.
Burke was initially busy restraining Ruth’s sister to prevent her from interfering with the arrest. Burke then assisted Fletcher with Ruth, who continued to resist on the couch. Fletcher administered a third Taser cycle, and the deputies were able to secure Ruth’s hands.
The deputies assisted Ruth to his feet and escorted him to Fletcher’s patrol vehicle, where Ruth remained seated until EMS could respond to check on his welfare.
For several years, Ruth has made posts on social media alleging corruption in the Brown County Courthouse, alleging several local officials are criminals and alleging he has been wrongfully prosecuted as retaliation for uncovering corruption.
A social media post Friday night announced that Ruth was being arrested and called for a “public outcry,” and urged people to “come to the sheriff’s office now.”
A small crowd gathered outside the sheriff’s office, where witnesses said they milled around in the cold before dispersing.
According to Ruth’s Facebook page, in addition to being an attorney, Ruth is self employed in construction development and lives in Fredericksburg. Ruth’s address in jail records is listed as Brownwood.