Attorneys for a man who suffered permanent brain damage after being repeatedly stunned by a sheriff deputy's taser are suing the County of San Diego, two deputies, and sheriff William Gore for failing to properly train and supervise deputies.
According to attorneys, the June 26, 2014, incident involving their client Marcial Torres is the latest in a string of excessive-force cases, revealing a pattern of abuse and a failure by Gore and the op brass to supervise and train deputies properly.
In the case of Torres, deputy Dylan Haddad approached Torres in a Vista parking lot after a nearby resident, the mother of Torres’s friend, phoned police with a complaint that a group of men had threatened her. Torres fit the description of one of the males. Deputy Haddad followed Torres through the parking lot. According to the complaint, Torres threw a glass object at the ground as he walked away. Deputy Haddad then fired the taser at Torres using three consecutive charges. Torres collapsed from a heart attack.
"Defendant Haddad then repeatedly and relentlessly tased Mr. Torres, despite Mr. Torres begging for mercy, 'Stop, stop, stop!' Mr. Torres stopped breathing. Deputy Haddad did not render any aid to Mr. Torres. Defendant Chase Fisher saw Mr. Torres blue in the face and foaming but failed to render aid. Vista Paramedics finally arrived, resuscitated Mr. Torres, and transported him to Tri-City Hospital. Mr. Torres remained in critical condition for several weeks, falling into a vegetative state."
The multiple electrical charges from the taser, say attorneys, resulted in permanent damage to Torres’s kidneys, brain, and forced doctors to amputate Torres’s legs and several fingers.
The complaint alleges a "widespread" pattern of abuse in the sheriff's department and a failure to investigate deputies for use of excessive force.
"There has been an official policy of acquiescence in the wrongful conduct. Defendants failed to promulgate corrective policies and regulations in the face of repeated constitutional violations. Defendants condoned and acquiesced in the abusive behavior of their subordinates by refusing to retrain them, discipline them, or correct their abusive behavior."