National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Police Break Into Man’s Home, Break His Neck

From the Sacramento Bee:

On the evening of June 2, 2007, Officers John Boyd and Jason Wentz entered Mr. Dagdagan’s residence shortly before midnight after responding to a call. They awoke Mr. Dagdagan, who was asleep in his bed, to ask him about a citizen complaint.  Mr. Dagdagan then told the officers to leave, but they arrested him, fired a Taser at him twice and handcuffed him.  The police officers then engaged in illegal and violent use of force that dislodged Mr. Dagdagan’s vertebrae and ruptured his disk, causing immediate paralysis and permanent damage to his spinal cord. 

Attorney Peter Alfert stated, “Our client sued because his civil rights were violated.  Through this settlement, he wants to send a clear message that all of us must not tolerate police misconduct and we will hold police accountable.  The police had no justification for going into the apartment, for arresting Macario, and certainly no reason to break his neck.”

On the night of the incident, after the arrest, a police sergeant arrived at Mr. Dagdagan’s apartment.  He heard the victim say that his neck was broken and observed and photographed Mr. Dagdagan’s bloody face.  However, neither the sergeant nor anyone in the department conducted an investigation to determine whether the officers used excessive force.

Attorney Todd Boley stated, “Under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, the police officers had no right to enter Mr. Dagdagan’s home without a warrant unless it was an immediate emergency or someone was in danger.  It is also widely accepted that police officers may only use sufficient force to carry out an arrest and nothing more.  In this case, the police violated their oath to uphold the Constitution by entering Mr. Dagdagan’s home without due cause, and they used excessive force.  No one should have to endure such pain and have their rights violated in such an egregious fashion.”

A Vietnam War veteran who worked his whole life before the incident, Mr. Dagdagan is now permanently disabled and expects to have increasingly more expensive healthcare costs in the coming years as a result of the severe injuries he incurred.

Dagdagan said, “I felt humiliated and degraded by the officers, and now I have to live with these terrible injuries for the rest of my life.  The police officers haven’t shown any guilt or compassion for what they did to me, and the police force didn’t launch an investigation even after I was hospitalized. I live in constant pain and am afraid even in my own home.  Holding the Vallejo police department accountable for their actions is the only thing I can do to ensure this doesn’t happen to someone else.”

The officers involved were hired by another city after the case.

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.