Lawsuit: Elderly Man With Dementia Joins Growing Number Who Claim Abuse by Sheriff Lee Baca's Deputies
Qiao Ruirong, a 64-year-old Chinese American who doesn't speak English and suffers from dementia, says he mistakenly tried to get into the wrong car in a supermarket parking lot one night last August when he was arrested for trying to break into the vehicle.
Three days later, while in custody of the LA Sheriff's Department, Qiao claims that as many as five different deputies almost literally beat his brains in, requiring doctors to put a metal plate in his head.
Qiao now joins a long line of inmates who are suing the sheriff's department over excessive force and and an even longer line of inmates who claim they've been trounced and abused by deputies.
According to Qiao's lawsuit, numerous unnamed deputies beat Qiao's head, face and neck so severely that Qiao was later taken to USC Medical Center, where emergency surgeons performed a craniectomy .
Doctors placed a metal plate in Qiao's head, says his lawyer, Timothy Mitchell, and essentially had to re-form his shattered skull.
Mitchell says that attorneys for the sheriff's department claim that Qiao was injured during a prison fight that started amongst inmates, but in light of the many lawsuits and recent clamor about deputy violence against inmates, Mitchell isn't so sure.
"We filed the lawsuit because there's no reason for officers to repeatedly bludgeon him in the head," says Mitchell. "I'm not quite buying that he was a victim of someone in a prison fight."