Deaf man sues police for surprise tackle

A deaf Bakersfield man says he didn't hear the officer's commands to stop walking.
SOUTHWEST BAKERSFIELD - A deaf Bakersfield man is suing Bakersfield Police Department for a tackle he said broke his arm and wrist. The claim said the tackle was a misunderstanding, but one that left 43-year-old Jesus Trevino with mounting medical bills and it was in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Last October, Trevino's daughter dropped him off at his Southwest apartment. When Trevino got to his door, he realized he didn't have his key or cell phone.

He rattles the door, because in the past, he'd rattle the door and it would sometimes open," said Trevino's attorney Daniel Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said apparently someone in the apartment complex thought Trevino was trying to break in and called police. In the government tort claim, Trevino said he decided to walk to the nearby Albertson's, because he was friends with the manager and could ask him to call his daughter.

Trevino said he didn't hear the officer following behind him command him to stop walking before the officer jumped on him.

"All of a sudden boom. He gets hit from behind and driven to the ground," said Rodriguez.

"As his hands are driven to the ground, he can feel the crunching, cracking, snapping of his left wrist and elbow."

Rodriguez said the officer's actions violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

"Because they misperceived the effects of the disability as criminal activity."

The claim is seeking financial compensation for Trevino's medical bills and wants officers to receive additional training to deal with disabled individuals.

The Bakersfield Police Department said it couldn't comment on the case, because it hadn't been served with legal papers yet.

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Bakersfield, CA