BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A domestic violence suspect who was hospitalized after a fierce struggle with police has filed a legal claim against the city seeking more than $1 million.
The claim filed last month on behalf of Jason Dean Crawford alleges false arrest, assault and negligence on the part of Bakersfield police officers who took him into custody the afternoon of May 5.
“(Crawford) suffers from a mental health disorder and was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time,” according to the claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — filed by attorneys with the Los Angeles-area Law Offices of Dale K. Galipo.
“Officers deployed their Tasers against (Crawford) causing him to fall to the ground and impact his head,” the claim says. “Officers then mounted on top of (Crawford), who was unarmed and was not a threat of harm to any person or officer at the time and began repeatedly striking (Crawford) in the face and head with full force. Officers also began repeatedly striking (Crawford) with batons.”
Police have previously released footage showing officers using fists, a baton and a Taser after Crawford, a large man, ignored commands and resisted arrest. The baton strikes were to Crawford’s legs.
Police were dispatched to an apartment on Q Street near Memorial Hospital after a woman reported Crawford was under the influence of methamphetamine and attempted to stab someone with a pen. When officers arrived, a struggle between Crawford and four officers spilled onto the second-floor balcony.
Crawford was taken to a hospital — family say he spent time in a coma — before being booked into jail weeks later and charged with crimes including kidnapping and spousal abuse. A trial date is currently set for January.
Court records show Crawford has prior convictions for making terroristic threats, grand theft of property and recklessly evading a peace officer. He faces charges in a separate case of possession of a gun and ammunition by a felon.