Lincoln mother seeks protection order against Lancaster County Chief Deputy for harassment
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A Lincoln woman, whose daughter was struck by the Lancaster County Chief Deputy’s truck in May, has filed a petition for a protection order against Ben Houchin. She alleges that Houchin, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident, has persistently harassed her family since then.
Tiarrah Moton filed the petition in Lancaster County Court Wednesday, alleging that Houchin has been using intimidation tactics and recording videos of her, her husband, and their children.
Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said Thursday morning that Houchin is not on administrative leave, but there is an ongoing internal investigation to determine if he’s violated any LSO policies. Wagner said Lincoln Police are also investigating the harassment claims.
Moton writes in the petition that the harassment started after May 10, when Houchin hit Moton’s nine-year-old daughter with his truck while she was riding her bike in their northwest Lincoln neighborhood. Houchin wasn’t ticketed for that accident, but Moton filed a civil lawsuit against Houchin alleging vehicular negligence a month later.
Moton details two recent incidents in her petition. She said on Oct. 1, Houchin sat outside his home, which is on the same street she lives, and recorded her and her children and “gestured like ‘What?’ to me.” She said on Oct. 17, Houchin and his friends used a vehicle to block her driveway for ten minutes until she walked outside and then Houchin walked to his home.
Both incidents were reported to the police. The Lincoln Police Department provided dispatch records to 10/11 showing officers were called to the area on report of a disturbance, but said no formal reports were made.
Moton writes that prior to the accident, which sent her daughter to the hospital for five days, she had never had any contact with Houchin. She said since that accident, however, issues have been getting worse.
“Directly after filing [the lawsuit] is when he started to record me, have stare downs with everyone, come in direct contact of the area when prior to it he never did,” Moton wrote. “I feel as if once he knew we filed he started doing all of this to intimidate us or get us to react or converse with him.”
Moton said Houchin recording her makes her feel uneasy and scared that he will one day soon “fly off the handle.”
“I’m tired of quietly living in fear of this man,” Moton wrote. “I just want it to stop so my kids can be normal again.”
The judge in the protection order case has set a hearing for Oct. 26 when both sides will be able to present evidence as to why the protection order should or should not be issued.
As far as the vehicular negligence lawsuit is concerned, not much action has taken place. In the suit, Moton’s attorney accused Houchin of driving too fast for conditions, failing to yield the right of way, failing to keep his truck under control and failing to keep a proper look out before the crash.
In a response to the lawsuit, filed in June, Houchin denied those allegations.
In the Lincoln Police investigation into the crash, Houchin admitted to looking down from the roadway to adjust his radio, taking his eyes off the road “for a split second.” He told police she “came out of nowhere” and he never saw her approaching the roadway.
There are currently no future court dates scheduled in that case.