Houston park ranger arrested, accused of taking money from man he threatened with jail

A Houston urban park ranger is accused of threatening a man with jail if he didn’t give him money at a park, according to allegations read in court.

Joey Lamar Ellis, 33, is charged with official oppression. His bond was set at $30,000 during a probable cause court hearing on Wednesday morning.

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According to the allegations read in court, Ellis – wearing a park ranger windbreaker and using a parks department vehicle – approached a man at the park and demanded $300. He allegedly threatened the man that he would go to jail if he didn’t do what he said.

The man gave him $20 and electronically sent him $200, according to the allegations read in court.

In a statement, Houston Parks and Recreation Department said, "The Houston Parks and Recreation Department has been made aware of the arrest of Urban Park Ranger Joey Ellis.  The Department has removed him from the work schedule at this time and the public can be assured that appropriate measures are being taken while HPD investigates."