Santa Rosa Press Democrat report on lawsuit on behalf of Esa Wroth (includes video) http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4261949-181/forestville-man-seeks-3-million
Further on Esa Wroth’s case — the report he filed with PACH Jan. 6, 2013, updated Jan. 21 and Jan. 26.
Time and place of Incident: 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, inside detention center at Sonoma County jail.
Name: Esa Wroth, Age 26, male
Nature of Interaction: Arrested, booked, held at county jail till bailed out.
Victim charged with: Two felonies — assaulting custodial officer and resisting a superior officer, plus DUI.
Description of incident:
Wroth said he left a bar at 12:30 a.m. and was a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident in Forestville. He may have blacked out because he doesn’t recall what happened till he phoned a friend at 2:30 a.m.
(On 1-26-13 he said he now believes he did NOT black out after the accident and that CHP arrived shortly after the accident but he confirms that the driver of the car had left the scene by then. This doesn’t alter his account of the rest of the incident.)
The driver was not around when CHP officers showed up and administered a sobriety test to Wroth. He refused a breathalyzer test and was arrested. He said he was beaten unconscious by cops in an unprovoked attack in the county detention center, taken to Sutter E.R. for his injuries, then back to jail where his rights were read to him and the felony charges were added to the DUI charge. He was dumped in a cell and woke up around noon. (See notes added 1-26 for clarification and further details).
He says the police report claims he was the driver of the car and the air bag deployed although he says he was not the driver and the car is a 1988 Volvo that doesn’t have air bags.
After bailing out, he went to urgent care on Sebastopol Road, which referred him to Santa Rosa Memorial for CT scan, which he got.
He had a court hearing Monday (1/7) and was assigned a public defender named Slater, with the next hearing scheduled Feb. 8. He’s trying to line up a private attorney.
He does not have the names of the people who beat him but is trying to get names of arresting officers from the police report. He believes the first officer who assaulted him was a CHP officer in dark uniform who kneed him in the face but his memory is hazy due to the beating. The others involved were sheriff’s personnel at the county jail. (After seeing the sheriff’s report, Wroth said he realizes it was not CHP who beat him but only sheriff’s personnel at the jail.)
He has documented his injuries, which include abrasions of the head and body, possible torn meniscus (knee), bruised and swollen face and painful swollen hands from handcuff neuropathy.
He believes the beating was recorded on video at the jail detention area and wants to get a copy of the video.
On Jan. 26, after seeing the sheriff’s department report, Wroth added the following details:
Six sheriff’s department officers and one medical personnel are mentioned in the report, which includes narratives from several of them describing the incident. The following account is an approximate rendering of the sheriff’s department report, as related by Wroth.
(Don’t have rank or specific description of the officers’ affiliation but believe they are all part of County Jail correctional staff.)
Eduardo Espino Jr. – Wroth said, “He claims I tried to bite his shin. He reports kneeing me in the neck, face and shoulder two or three times. His knee to my face was the last thing I remember till I woke up in a cell six hours later.” Wroth has learned there is a lawsuit pending against Espino by Eric James Baker, who alleges he was beaten at the jail by Espino in an earlier incident.
Brian R. Gallaway – His report says he used up all his taser cartridges on Wroth, reloaded with cartridge from another deputy (Scott Rivers) and tased him again. Wroth was unaware that he had been tased until he read the report.
Scott Rivers – Handed his taser cartridge to Gallaway.
Michael Skinner – Also used taser on Wroth.
- Flores – Lengthy narrative of administering pat search of Wroth, ordering him to face the wall and not to turn around . . . “Wroth refused by looking down at me while I searched him for contraband . . . Deputy Espino was assisting me . . . “ His account claims that Wroth continued resisting and grabbed a monitor “and attempted to tuck the monitor under his stomach . . . [and I] threw him down.” Wroth remembers Flores as the officer who threw him down and initiated the beating in which other officers participated. He said he received punches to his torso and kneeing to his head and is currently undergoing physical therapy for his hands and shoulders (the shoulder injuries complicated by prior rotator cuff ailment).
Natasha Cole – Filmed the incident for sheriff’s department.
Bogart (no first name) – Medical person who observed the incident.
Espino, Gallaway, Rivers and Skinner all have narrative accounts in the sheriff’s dept. report.
As reported earlier, sheriff’s personnel called an ambulance that took Wroth to E.R. at Sutter Hospital. He was then returned to a cell at the jail (M.A.D.F.).
Follow-up: Wroth plans to meet with public defender Jan. 30 and has court date Feb. 8. He said he has been offered a plea deal which calls for four months in jail and unspecified “restitution.” He says he will reject the deal and go to trial. He said he has been refused access to the video of the incident on the grounds it is part of the evidence in the case.