Joe Arpaio's Victim Marty Atencio: Phoenix PD Arrest Report Released

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A Phoenix police report describes Atencio as suffering from mental problems when arrested

Tuesday afternoon, the Phoenix Police Department released its arrest report on Ernest "Marty" Atencio, the Army vet brutalized and Tased till brain-dead in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails.

The report details two police encounters with Atencio on the evening of December 15. 

The second, which resulted in Atencio's arrest, involved the 44 year-old allegedly causing a female victim to be "apprehensive of eminent physical injury by walking toward her in an aggressive manner, coming within an inch of her, and yelling at her."

The woman told police officers that Atencio "had been violently kicking an apartment door" on the second floor of a building, and that he had "aggressively" pointed his cell phone at her. 

Afraid of a physical confrontation, the woman phoned the police. 

The report also states that, "After a few moments of yelling at her, Atencio then got distracted by a car and began chasing it."

You can read the entire report, here.

The most revealing part of the report, written by Officer Sarah Roberts, recounts an initial contact with Atencio at a 7-11, near 28th Drive and Peoria Avenue. 

There, Atencio "was asked to leave the property, which he did without incident."

Roberts describes Atencio as someone with obvious mental health issues. That's a fact that Atencio's family has acknowledged

Indeed, they've indicated that Atencio was bipolar and when off his meds, he acted oddly. Sometimes the police would be called as a result.

What Roberts describes falls into the pattern that Atencio's loved ones have indicated.

Atencio's unusual behavior "appeared to be mental in nature," and "not due to drugs."

She writes, "He was alert and would respond to questions, however, he would get easily distracted and speak of random and odd things."

The report continues:

"[Atencio] showed no signs of being a danger to himself or others, he simply appeared to be not medicated and engaged in very random conversation. He was not violent at all toward any officer or civilian present. Atencio stated that he lived down the street and as we had no crime he was instructed to return to his home."

Later, Roberts and Officer Joshua James received the second call involving Atencio.

"The victim stated that Atencio was yelling," Roberts writes. "But she was scared and could not provide me with any quotes other than she remembered him asking for a cigarette. The victim had never seen or met Atencio before."

Told that he was being placed under arrest, Atencio did not resist, says Roberts, "He just asked that someone hold his phone that was still in his hand."

Eventually, Atencio was taken to the MCSO's Fourth Avenue Jail, where video shows him being non-violent and generally passive. 

Nevertheless, he was jumped by eight or nine uniformed personnel, with more joining in. After being Tased, he was taken to an ironically-named "safe cell" where he was stripped and left naked and motionless.

Atencio's family and their lawyer Mike Manning believe Marty Atencio breathed his last breath on his own in that cell. 

Uniformed personnel later returned to perform CPR, and Atencio was shipped off to Saint Joseph's Hospital, where he was kept alive on life support for a few days longer.

When life support was removed, Aterncio died on December 20. 

On January 4, he was laid to rest with full military honors at National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix.

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25 comments
Bogie_dennis54
Bogie_dennis54

Why is this sherriff not in jail himself? Police in Arizona are out of control!

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

because republicans are close to Nazis and do not care about what others do so long as they stay in power.

Phoenix Justice
Phoenix Justice

Because everyone is too scared to do their jobs.  They see it as a political quagmire and that's why the Department of Justice still hasn't brought the hammer down.  Now, in this case, the individual detention officers should be arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Jason
Jason

The Flaccid Failure as well as Monty should be disgusted, outraged, and sickened by this atrocious, unnecessary and wrongful death.

Mr. Atencio was a veteran, someone who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check to the U.S. government payable up to and including their life. For him to die in a jail after being tased (which delivers around 50K-100K volts of electricity each time) with at least 10 DO's on him is absolutely inexcusable and evil.

I will say this: The Flaccid Failure needs to go. Now. Either by resignation, recall, or indictment. I don't care which.

Lydia
Lydia

This is so sad to read.  I wish the police would have called a family member for Marty once they realized that Marty had some sort of condition.  If I were the police the conversation would go like this, "What's your name?  Is there a relative or a doctor that I can call for you?  Who is an emergency contact for you?"

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

In AZ the cops just try and arrested everyone. It's gotta be the pettiest state for police in the country. They try and make an issue out of anything they can think of to get you to pay fines or fill their prisons.

guest
guest

threatening a woman. what a super special guy we lost.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

yeah so threatening. Have you ever been around someone with mental illness?

Mistalee
Mistalee

By pointing a cell phone in a menacing manner. WTF is that about? Was this woman just petrified of dark-skinned men, or what?

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

maybe she was scared because she has never been around a mentally ill person before.

Jason
Jason

Is that you Bundgaard?

PD7172
PD7172

useless comment, obviously you do know the details.. ignore the excessive use of force by police in this incident.

Marian Dorn
Marian Dorn

This is criminal to say the least!  Someone needs to throw Arpaio into his own jail! I am so thankful to be out of Arizona, but this man has to be stopped!

AzMot
AzMot

Granted what happened to Marty Atencio at the 4th Ave. jail should have never happened and the MCSO should be held accountable but why do we take people with obvious mental health issues straight to jail? Isn't there a better way?

Phoenix Justice
Phoenix Justice

It has been standard practice for decades in many locales to put the mentally ill in jail instead of in a setting where they can get the help they need due to cut backs in social services or elimination of such institutions.  This is a direct result of government on the cheap.  Besides, someone has to fill all those jail/prison beds they keep building.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Not in Arizona. In spite of having a mentally ill son, your esteemed governor cut funding which provided vital mental health services.
This is how conservatives "Balance budgets" on the backs of the most vulnerable of the population.

But hey, we got a surplus of money and a deficit of humanity.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

what surplus? at least count AZ is 56 billion in debt and it's climbing EVERY day.

As for mental health, that was really cut. I met a guy when I was camping who drove one of the ambulances that serviced a mental health care place. There was actually an issue going on at the camp ground that he solved. It was minor and basically involved the drunk people that kept the entire camp ground awake that were next to me and my now EX wife. Anyways, I wonder if he lost his job...

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

Pointing a cell phone ? You gotta be kidding me. Poorly trained law enforcement. peace

Globalparadox
Globalparadox

The cops can't win. Now you say PHX PD is poorly trained and over reacted. If they sent him home a second time and responded to a third call that included a violent crime then you would be saying "wasn't it obvious after the second PD call that this person was a danger to others and himself...why didn't the PD use some common sense." Cops have a tough, dangerous job and our state (i.e. us) has chosen to fund prisons not mental treatment. 

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

he wasn't VIOLENT according to the tape at the jail and FROM The police report. What makes you think he was going to commit a crime ?

Mistalee
Mistalee

Really? Seriously? The cops "can't win" because they get in trouble for needlessly tasing someone to death? I am real short on sympathy for them.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

agreed. If anything the only crime committed at all was when Marty was brutally murdered by Nazi police at the jail.

Anon
Anon

Stephen, Great reporting on this important story that exemplifies what the Maricopa County jail system is and has been for decades. A culture of cruelty and inhumanity to men and women. Elsewhere in the country prominent sheriffs are being indicted and sent to prison. How is it that arpaio, a county sheriff gets away with ongoing brutality and abuse of power? The officials who remain silent and do nothing are complicit. It's chilling.

teknik1200
teknik1200

Because he's in the pocket of all of our Government officials. He's in the good ole boys club and our AG and DA will not hold him accountable.

He's got a hall pass to be a colossal dick head.

sdkeller72
sdkeller72

Can someone please explain to me how Arpaio still has a job and not in prison?  We should have shipped him China with our jobs decades ago.  His career would flourish over there, instead of being a national joke here.

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