This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Violent Arrest By Deputies Caused Man's Sudden Death, Says Family
The family of a Lynwood man who was hit with a baton, maced and tased during a bizarre arrest in March are wondering if the taser had anything to do with his sudden death in October.
On March 15, deputies were arresting an alleged peeping tom on the front lawn of Marco Marco Arevalo, Sr. and his son, 33-year-old Marco Arevalo, Jr's. home. Multiple neighbors recorded the incident via their cell phones, and the Arevalos can be seen watching the arrest as it in front of their house. Arevalo, Sr. said they were outside due to curiosity as they knew the suspect.
"Mr. Arevalo, Sr. was standing there watching, not doing anything, saying, 'Hey, they are going to kill this guy,'" the family's lawyer, Michael Carrillo, told NBC Los Angeles.
The deputies ordered the men to go inside their home. But within moments, the deputies can be seen approaching the men. The videos seems to show deputies throwing Arevalo, Sr. over a bush and striking Arevalo, Jr. with a baton, then macing him and tasing him.
"Deputy Shaffer, who arrives last, says that [Arevalo, Jr.] was trying to run inside the house, that the baton strikes did nothing to stop him an that he was in fear that [Arevalo, Jr.] would go in the house and get a weapon," Carillo said, according to ABC 7.
Carrillo points to the video in contradiction. "You can see the baton strikes did have an effect, they dropped him." Carrillo said that you can see his client put his hands up, but that the deputies tase him in the back while he's facedown on the ground.
Both Arevalos were charged with rioting and resisting arrest, though the charges against Arevalo, Sr. were ultimately dropped. Arevalo Jr.'s charges came to an end with his sudden and unexplained death in October. Arevalo Jr.'s mother said that her son complained of chest pains about a week before his death, and then simply didn't wake up from his sleep one morning. The first autopsy does not provide his cause of death, and the family is hoping a final autopsy will give them some answers. Arevalo Jr.'s mother blames the taser, saying her son was previously healthy, CBS LA reports.
The Sheriff's Department had previously cleared the deputies of any misconduct, but the case may be reopened with the release of the videos. Carrillo claims that the deputies lied about what happened with his clients because they did not know the videos existed.