San Diego County to pay $1.35M over 2018 in-custody death

September 25, 2022 GMT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego County and other defendants have agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the mother of a Mexican citizen who died after sheriff’s deputies arrested him in 2018, officials said.

The lawsuit filed by Dolores Rosales, of Tijuana, alleged deputies used excessive force when they took her son, Marco Antonio Nápoles-Rosales, into custody in August 2018, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The court filing claimed the deputies used a stun gun, their body weight and a wrap-around restraint device to subdue Nápoles-Rosales, who was suspected of trespassing at a gas station in Fallbrook.

He lost consciousness during the arrest and was taken to a hospital, where he died the next day.

Carlos González Gutiérrez, Mexican consul general in San Diego, said Friday that Nápoles-Rosales’ mother and the consulate felt satisfied with the settlement and pleased that the lawsuit brought the circumstances of his death to the public’s attention.

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“May this case remind us all that the excessive use of force is not acceptable under any circumstances,” González Gutiérrez said.

San Diego County spokesperson Michael Workman referred a request for comment to the chair of the Board of Supervisors, Nathan Fletcher. His office did not immediately respond to the Union-Tribune.

An autopsy determined Nápoles-Rosales died of sudden cardiopulmonary arrest caused by methamphetamine intoxication and exertion during the struggle with deputies. The manner of death was undetermined. A toxicology screen found methamphetamine and amphetamines in his blood when he died.

After reviewing Nápoles-Rosales’ death, prosecutors decided no criminal charges would be filed against the deputies who used force against him.