Mentally Ill Man Faces 11 Years After Cops Caught on Video Using His Body for Batting Practice
Salinas, CA — Last month, Jose Velasco's mother called police because he was having a mental breakdown. When police arrived on the scene they treated Velasco like a criminal instead of a mentally ill man in need of help.
While police attempted to subdue Velasco, he began having hallucinations that there were demons after him. A struggle ensued in which Velasco attempted to free himself from the grasp of the police, which they saw as a threat, so they proceeded to brutally beat the man with their batons.
Velasco was taken to jail and has remained there ever since, facing multiple charges that may land him in jail for 11 years.
Police claim that Velasco attempted to attack his mother and the police officers, though his family disputes these claims, saying they called the police to get help for Velasco, not for themselves.
“I feel that the charges against him are bogus,” Velasco’s sister, Isabel Loya told reporters.
“If they’re filing an assault charge, why wasn’t she treated like a victim? She never cried that she’s a victim,” Loya added.
Prosecutor Lindsey O’Shea never bothered to get a statement from the family because she does not believe their testimony would be legitimate.
“It’s not uncommon (with) family violence for people to recant their statements, or say things happened differently. But we have to look at whether or not a crime was committed. If it was, we have a duty for public safety to press the charges,” O’Shea said.
In video taken of the arrest, multiple officers can be seen hitting the victim with haymaker power swings with their batons while Velasco is lying on the pavement. The video then appears to show the officers holding Velasco down until another officer arrives on the scene. The newly arrived officer begins brutalizing him with his baton as other officers restrain Velasco on the ground.
On Wednesday, the DA made the following statement:
“Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Flippo announced today the filing of three charges against Jose Velasco, age 28 of Salinas, for acts committed on June 5, 2015. The charges are felony assault likely to produce great bodily injury upon Velasco’s mother Rita Ramirez (Acosta); removing Salinas Police Officer David Pritt’s taser while resisting arrest, a felony; and misdemeanor assault on firefighter Collin Mitchell. Further, after careful review of all of the available evidence, including independent consultations with two certified instructors in defensive tactics using baton and fixed stick weapons, there is insufficient evidence to prove any officer committed a crime during the incident.”