The parents of a mentally ill man who died while in custody of San Diego law enforcement are suing the city and county. According to his family, Paul Silva, a 39-year old man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was wrongfully detained and later died from the injuries he sustained in jail.
Silva stayed in a coma for nearly 5 weeks before he was removed from life support by his family. His mother Leslie Allen said she had called police because her son was off his medication and acting out. Unfortunately, the call ended in a deadly situation which she has remorse for.
“I’m just devastated, and I’ll regret for the rest of my life calling them for help,” said Silva’s mother. At a news conference Leslie Allen recalled talking to police and asking them to come to her home because her son was outside yelling and agitated. She said she told the dispatcher that Paul was a diagnosed schizophrenic who had been cooperative with police in the past and likely had not taken his medication.
When police showed up, they determined he was under the influence of meth and arrested him, instead of taking him to the hospital. In jail, he was assaulted by law enforcement: tasered, hit by water balls and wrestled to the ground. As a result, his lung collapsed and he suffered a heart attack and brain damage, which killed him.
Our own Jim Frantz is representing Paul Silva’s family and provided hospital intake records, which showed that he tested negative for any drugs. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department said very little about the incident, simply stating that “was observed by staff in apparent medical distress” and then taken to the hospital. The claim against the city is for making a false arrest for being under the influence, and the county for not providing adequate care and using excessive force.
Read more over at The San Diego Union-Tribune
If your loved one was killed as the result of someone else’s negligence, please contact our California wrongful death attorneys at Frantz Law Group to learn more.
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