A lawsuit filed in Federal Court accuses San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies of using excessive force in the attempted apprehension of a Vista fugitive.
The lawsuit, filed March 13, claims deputies used excessive force while trying to serve the arrest warrant. It also claims Napier did not pose a reasonable threat and that those deputies knew he was unarmed.
Court records indicate last January, Michael Napier, 33, was working on his bicycle in his parents' garage when four Gang Task Force members approached him, demanding Napier put up his hands.
Instead, deputies said, he reached for his waistband. Officers Brandon Boissernac and Nicholas Danza opened fire, shooting approximately 15 rounds, they said. Napier had seven bullet wounds.
Deputies handcuffed him and moved him into the parking lot to perform CPR. He was later pronounced dead on that spot.
Napier was wanted on a felony drug-related warrant and was a suspect in two burglaries.
Court records indicate Napier was a documented gang member who went by the street name "Bullet."
His parents, Charles and Donna Napier, and his son, Gabriel are asking for $15 million in damages in the lawsuit.
The suit points out that the other two deputies did not fire their weapons, and alleges deputies made false statements or covered-up their actions afterward.
The Sheriff's Department declined to comment on the pending litigation.