A California sheriff’s deputy is facing a lawsuit after he allegedly beat a man with Down Syndrome.
According to reports, 21-year-old Antonio Martinez was walking from his parent’s house to their family bakery when Deputy Jeffrey Guy pulled up alongside him and began yelling at him.
Martinez had allegedly just flipped the hood of his sweatshirt over his head when the officer noticed him walking. Guy ordered Martinez to stop walking, but the disabled man didn’t stop, so the officer approached him and sprayed him with pepper spray before throwing him to the ground and beating him.
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The incident happened in front of the family bakery, so when Martinez’s sisters and father saw him being beaten, they ran out of the store to tell the officer that he was disabled. The officer didn’t care and continued to beat him. Eventually, other officers arrived and piled on top of Martinez before arresting him and bringing him to jail, where he was held for five hours.
After Martinez was released, the Sheriff’s Department called the Martinez’s to apologize for what happened, but the family still decided to go forward with pressing charges. The family is suing for an unknown amount of money on allegations of negligence, battery, false arrest, emotional distress, and civil rights violations.
“The Martinez family has been forced to proceed with filing this lawsuit in order to try to bring about positive change for all people of San Diego,” said the Martinez’s attorney Judy Basile in a statement.
Martinez suffered injuries from the incident and was forced to undergo medical care. The family is looking to recoup those expenses from the lawsuit.