San Diego

County Pays $3 Million in Settlement Fees for Aggressive Tasing in Vista Parking Lot

The victim was an innocent bystander who the deputy mistook as a suspect in a threatening group of men.

The County of San Diego paid $3 million in damages to a man who was critically injured after being repeatedly tased by a sheriff's deputy at a parking lot in Vista, confirmed the victim's attorney.

According to the complaint filed in court, the victim sustained permanent damage to multiple organs including his kidneys and brain. Both of his legs below the knee and several fingers had to be amputated because of the trauma caused by the tasings.

Eugene Iredale, the Criminal Defense Attorney working on the case, told NBC 7 that Marcial Torres agreed to accept $3 million in damages to settle his lawsuit against the county.

Sheriff's deputy Dylan Haddad repeatedly tased and injured Torres on the 1200 block of North Santa Fe Avenue in Vista on Jun. 26, 2014, according to the complaint.

Deputies were dispatched to the area after a woman called to report that she felt threatened by a suspicious group of men, stated court documents. Her son pointed the deputies toward a a parking lot to indicate where the group went. Deputy Haddad saw Torres in that area and charged at him with his Taser drawn.

The woman who reported the threat said she knew the victim Torres, and he was not involved with the group who threatened her. He was even friends with her son.

As the victim was walking away from Haddad, he threw a glass object on the ground in the opposite direction of the deputy. That's when Haddad attacked Torres with his Taser.

The May 2015 complaint reads: "Defendant Haddad then repeatedly and relentlessly tased Mr. Torres, despite Mr. Torres begging for mercy - "Stop, stop, stop!"

Torres collapsed and stopped breathing. When paramedics arrived, they were able to resuscitate Torres and take him to Tri-City Hospital, where he remained in critical condition for several weeks falling into a coma, stated the complaint.

"The use of force in shooting Marcial Torres multiple times with a Taser, while he was on the ground and presented no threat, was unnecessary and excessive," alleges the complaint.

In a separate case, a man recently died in Lemon Grove after San Diego County Sheriff deputies used tasers on him multiple times. That incident occurred on May 20.

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