Family members said cuts and bruises on Raul Sepulveda’s face are from a beating he suffered at the hands of El Monte police officers – a beating so brutal it put him in a coma.
“Raul told us that the police beat him and he was wondering why. Mind you, Raul has no criminal record,” attorney James Segall-Gutierrez said.
Christy Garcia said officers are familiar with her 21-year-old brother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 16.
“When he gets very depressed or stuff like that, we have to call them because that’s the only way he gets admitted to the hospital to get treatment,” Garcia said.
The family said police followed proper protocol in the past until an incident in August or September 2017.
“The neighbors told me my brother got Tasered, and he was crying for my mom,” Garcia said.
The El Monte Police Department said on Dec. 26, officers responded to a call about a man walking near Peck and Mt. View roads exposing and touching himself. Police Chief David Reynoso agreed there was a struggle, but Reynoso’s description of events challenges the family’s allegations.
“The subject did run and resist. There was a slight struggle,” he said.
Sepulveda is suspected of punching officers who quickly realized he was possibly under the influence of a narcotic, Reynoso added.
Segall-Gutierrez filed a claim for $10 million, alleging law enforcement violated Sepulveda’s civil rights. The family told Eyewitness News that Sepulveda is no longer in a coma and recovering.
“He would cry and say he was depressed because he didn’t know why they did that to him,” Garcia said.
Reynoso said audio recordings of the incident could be released once the case is settled.
The officers involved remain on patrol, and the case is under internal investigation.