Video: Third wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Washoe County Sheriff’s Office


The family of a Reno man who died after being bound in a hogtied position and fighting against police have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by the father of Thomas Purdy who died in October 2015, is the third wrongful death claim against the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office since in-custody deaths at the jail began to spike two years ago.

Also named in the lawsuit are the Reno Police Department and the Peppermill Resort Hotel, who were involved in Purdy’s arrest.

Purdy stopped breathing in a cell at the Washoe County jail after a violent struggle first with Peppermill security guards and then with Reno police officers who arrested him on trespassing charges. Purdy continued to struggle against Washoe County sheriff’s deputies who tried to remove his restraints once he arrived at the jail.

An autopsy ruled Purdy’s death a homicide, finding he died of excited delirium while being restrained. An investigation by Sparks police found no criminal wrongdoing.

The lawsuit contends police officers and deputies used excessive force when restraining Purdy and showed deliberate indifference to his medical needs. Purdy repeatedly complained he couldn’t breathe with his hands tied behind his back and secured with an extendable strap to his ankles.

Andre Lagomarsino, who represents Thomas Purdy, Sr., also argued that neither police agency adequately trained their officers to recognize and prevent excited delirium deaths.

The lawsuit also contends that Peppermill security guards used excessive force while trying to remove Purdy from the property, including allowing his head to smack the ground while dragging him down a set of concrete steps. Lagomarsino argued security guards also lacked proper training.

The police investigation into Purdy’s death included a recording of one of the Peppermill security guards bragging to a co-worker that “(Purdy’s) at the top of the stairs, I pulled his ass down the steps.”

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3179 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • crazytrain2

    So, does excited delirium exist, or not? It’s like a discussion about Sasquatch. If police claim that is the cause, people disagree and say it is a myth. So why accept that as a cause now?

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