A Sheriff’s Deputy Got Shot in Coachella, Leading to an Innocent Man Being Mauled by a K-9

On nights when Jesus Guzman leaves work too late to make it to his boxing gym for his usual workout routine, he jogs around the lettuce field across the street from his Coachella apartment complex. Guzman, who has a muscular build, said physical fitness is important to him, even after a long day at work, picking fruits and vegetables in agricultural fields.

Guzman would never have guessed that his late workday one Thursday in May 2017, combined with an unrelated shooting nearby, would lead to being mauled by a police dog, causing lasting physical and emotional damage.

Now Guzman is suing the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, claiming they violated his civil rights by having a K-9 attack him for no reason.

On May 25, 2017, Gildardo Davila, a Coachella man with ties to a violent street gang, is accused of fleeing a routine traffic stop, then shooting and injuring the Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy who had pulled him over.

Davila evaded police that day, only to be caught and captured days later in Mexico and extradited back to Riverside County, where he now faces an attempted murder charge, among others charges.

But in the hours after the shooting, sheriff’s officers were scouring Coachella, looking for Davila.

That’s when a pair of patrol vehicles, one with a K-9 unit, spotted Guzman across the lettuce field on Tyler Street between Avenue 50 and Avenue 52, as he was jogging on the dirt access road on the perimeter of the field.
Guzman, like Davila, is a Hispanic male, of roughly the same height and build.

The two sheriff’s department cruisers sped toward Guzman, bouncing and kicking up dust, he said, then came to a halt about 20 feet from him. In an instant, two officers leaped from each cruiser, taking cover behind the vehicle doors and drawing their pistols on him.

“They screamed, ‘hey, motherfucker, (get) on the ground!’” Guzman told The Desert Sun in English and Spanish. “And I threw myself to the ground.”

Guzman doesn’t speak much English, but he understands some. He was born in the United States, but spent most of his childhood in Mexico.

Guzman thought he was complying with their orders, he said, and got onto his stomach, face down in the dirt, with his wrists crossed in the small of his back.

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“I was ready for them to handcuff me, but they kept pointing their guns at me,” he recounted. “I knew if I were to move, they were going to shoot me, so I tried not to move.”

After about two or three minutes, Guzman estimated, one of the police officers got a K-9 from the vehicle, as Guzman laid with his hands behind his back, and presented no apparent threat to the officers.

The officer who got the K-9 out of the vehicle then tried to sic the dog on Guzman, but Guzman said the dog seemed uninterested, or perhaps confused about whether to attack him, and didn’t follow the officer’s initial order. Then the officer ran the dog around one of the vehicles, holding the dog by the harness, Guzman said, then once the K-9 had momentum headed in the direction of Guzman, ordered the dog to attack.

The K-9 charged at Guzman and began biting at the back of his left arm.

“He didn’t get me good at first, then he got me here,” Guzman said, pointing at the underside of his left arm. “And that’s when he ripped my sweatshirt. Then, he got me below, and began to tear (my arm) — I almost cried because of the pain.”

After a few minutes, Guzman said, the police officers called off the dog, put handcuffs on him and put him into the back of one of the cruisers.

The dog had bitten deep, he said, and torn through the skin and muscle, all the way to the radial nerve below his tricep.

For full story visit: https://eu.desertsun.com/story/news/crime_courts/2018/06/22/k-9-attack-california-leads-lawsuit-against-sheriffs-department/719204002/

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 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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