Visalia PD being sued after attorneys say K9 mauled schizophrenic man

Local News

VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- Yajaida Keys says her son is not the same after an incident in October 2020 where her son, Jordan Gutierrez, was allegedly mauled by a police K9.

Attorneys for Keys says they are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit over the Visalia Police Department Tuesday. The Visalia Police Department says they cannot provide a comment at this time because they have not been notified of the lawsuit.

Yajaida Keys said her schizophrenic son, 21-year-old Jordan Gutierrez, was having an episode and needed officer’s assistance to get medical help, but he was instead bit in the face by a police K-9.

At the time, Keys says there was nothing she could do to help.

“Hopeless, cause I couldn’t do anything for him but stand there and watch him and get bit by a dog,” says Keys.

Sgt. Celestina Sanchez with the Visalia Police Department said officers tried to communicate with Gutierrez but he took off, threw trash cans at a patrol car, and kicked at one of them.

“Jordan was still not cooperating and still not complying. Jordan also had one of his hands in his pocket so the officers weren’t sure if he had a weapon on him,” Sanchez said.

Keys said her son’s hands were always visible during the incident, he spoke very little and he was scared. In the cell phone video she was recording she can be heard telling the officers about his mental illness.

Gutierrez was arrested for obstructing and officer and resisting arrest after the incident.

Keys’ attorneys says Gutierrez’s bail was posted at $25,000 and Keys had to do 25 hours of community services as she was charged with resisting arrest, however she was never arrested in the incident.

In March 2021, another lawsuit was filed against the Visalia Police Department after K9 force was used on Raymundo Rubio, a mentally disabled man in Visalia.

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