Police Assume Elderly Diabetic Is Drunk, React (Video)
Police officers allegedly beat a 70-year-old man under suspicion of DUI for non-compliance when he was actually suffering from a diabetic attack.
The event was caught on dash cam video.
Thomas Mathieu stopped his car in a turn lane because he felt he was about to have a low blood sugar incident.
Mathieu claims he did this so he would not cause danger to others on the road.
What happened next Mathieu does not remember.
"I don't know what happened from there on," said Thomas Mathieu to News 4 San Antonio. "I woke up with my face in the ground."
The dash cam video shows the entire disturbing incident.
Officers approached Mathieu’s vehicle to find him slumped over the steering wheel. They told him three times to step out of the vehicle.
Mathieu refused to get out of the car—he claims he was not conscious.
His refusal allegedly led one of the police officers to punch Mathieu in the head, seeking compliance.
The officer stated in his report that he hit Mathieu because he thought he was reaching for the car shifter and was going to drive away.
Mathieu can be heard crying during the assault as the officers threatened to use a taser on him.
The following exchange then takes place:
Officer: Sir, how much have you had to drink tonight?
Officer: What's going on with you today?
Officer: Why were you sleeping behind the wheel, sir? And when we asked you to get out you didn't get out. Why?
Shortly after, and five minutes from initial contact with Mathieu, the officers asked him if he was a diabetic.
Mathieu suffered injuries to his face, head, arms, and torso. Three of his ribs were broken during the assault, reports The Free Thought Project.
"I know officers are trained how to deal with diabetic situations but apparently there was no recognition of that situation here," said Mathieu.
San Antonio Police Department Chief Bill McManus said officers do receive training on how to recognize a diabetic episode, but in this case the first priority was to get Mathieu out of the driver’s seat.
The officers were investigated by internal affairs as to whether their actions were considered use of excessive force. They were found to have not used excessive force and cleared of all charges.