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Los Angeles Times
Man declared brain-dead after violent confrontation with Montclair police, attorney says
By Salvador Hernandez,
A 42-year-old man has been declared brain-dead days after a violent confrontation with police, and now his family is questioning the Montclair Police Department's account of what happened and why it used force against him.
Antonio Ibanez is on life support at Montclair Hospital Medical Center after police used a Taser and batons to detain him on March 5, said Humberto Guizar, the Ibanez family's attorney. Guizar said the family believes Ibanez needed help when officers were called to the 4100 block of Mission Boulevard after midnight when someone reported that a man armed with an object was threatening a woman.
The woman who had called police was in her car with her daughters when she was confronted by the suspect, according to authorities. She believed he was under the influence of drugs, police said.
Ibanez rented a room in the woman's home, Guizar said.
"When officers attempted to detain the suspect a use of force occurred," police said. "Once detained medical aid was requested."
Guizar said he and the Ibanez family have found inconsistencies in the police account. Despite reaching out multiple times, he said, the Ibanez family hasn't heard from the Police Department about what happened.
"The Police Department has not been very transparent," said Guizar, adding that the Ibanez family is considering taking legal action.
Montclair police said it has handed over the investigation to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Relatives are also questioning why it took five days for police officials to release any details of the incident to the public.
Guizar said that he and other attorneys for the family have interviewed the woman who called the police and that she didn't mention that Ibanez was armed during the incident.
"If that was the case, we want to hear the 911 call," Guizar said.
Ibanez's family has made a series of public records requests, hoping to get copies of the 911 call, body-camera footage and radio traffic to get a better understanding of what happened.
"From our interview we did of [the woman who called 911], he was acting strange, just weird, and so she was concerned that he might hurt himself or somebody, so she called for assistance," he said. "There was no immediate threat of harm to anyone."