Taser sparks lawsuit
Williams man files federal case against city’s cops
An incident involving a stun gun is the root of a federal lawsuit against Williams police.
Martin Ortega Martinez, a 37-year-old Williams resident, accuses two policemen of violating his civil rights by downing him with a Taser during a 2006 arrest. Martinez’s complaint also alleges battery, excessive force, and false arrest and imprisonment.
The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, also names the city and Police Chief Jim Saso as defendants. It seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.
A call to Williams police was not immediately returned.
Martinez’s accusations stem from his arrest on Nov. 18, 2006. According to the suit, he was riding his bicycle at Sixth and E streets when officers Michael Rynearson and Ivan Maldonado tried to handcuff him after he avoided eye contact.
After the policemen tried to restrain Martinez, Rynearson fired his Taser at Martinez’s chest, the complaint said.
The suit alleges Rynearson then handcuffed Martinez, verbally abused him and threatened a second stun-gun attack. Martinez suffered unspecified “permanent physical and mental injuries” in the Taser attack, according to his lawyers, Jesse Rivera and Jonathan Paul.
The accuser’s father had reported him missing eight months earlier and told Williams police Martin Martinez was suffering from brain injuries sustained in a 2004 vehicle accident.
Martinez was charged with obstructing a police officer, a misdemeanor, but Colusa County Superior Court placed him in a year-long diversion program in January 2007.
Judge S. William Abel dismissed the charge Tuesday after Martinez completed his diversion, according to a court spokeswoman.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Howard Yune can be reached at 749-4708. You may e-mail him at email@example.com