from: ABC 10 News by: Christina Severance
VISTA - The County of San Diego has agreed to pay the family of Antonio Martinez $1 million to settle a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Jeffrey Guy.
The settlement stipulates the $1 million payout and that Sheriff Gore will meet with the Martinez family and attorney.
Martinez, 22, has Down syndrome and lives in Vista with his family. He functions at the level of a 7-year-old, according to doctors and his school records.
The Martinez family filed a lawsuit against the county and Guy after alleging excessive use of force, a violation of Antonio Martinez's constitutional rights, and questioning how law enforcement interacts and deals with mentally disabled people.
The incident in question happened Dec. 20, 2012 while Martinez was walking to his family's bakery on Postal Way.
He was stopped by San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey Guy, who was in the area for a possible domestic violence call, according to the arrest report. The address that was given turned out to be non-existent.
Guy then saw Martinez walking on Postal Way in a black hooded sweatshirt.
According to the report, when Martinez saw the sheriff's car he quickly pulled his hood up. Officer Guy told him to stop and Martinez kept walking.
The report states that the officer pulled the car in front of him. Guy wrote that Martinez had his hands in his pockets and may have been concealing a weapon. Guy then sprayed him in the face with pepper spray and used his baton to hit him in the arms and leg. He put him in handcuffs and into the car.
Martinez suffered bruises and lacerations and has since recovered, but his family says he still expresses a fear of police. He is back working at his family's bakery.
Guy remains employed by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.