Joe Arpaio's Victim Marty Atencio: Family Files Notices of Claim Totaling $20 Million in Wrongful Death Case

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An MCSO Detention Officer identified as Anthony Hatton (bottom left) enjoying a chuckle after he and others leave Atencio in a "safe cell"

An obscene cross between a Three Stooges short and a snuff film. That's the gruesome scenario depicted by two notices of claim served on the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County totaling $20 million for the wrongful death of Army vet Marty Atencio.

The claims, submitted by Phoenix attorney Mike Manning on behalf of the Atencio family,  allege that Atencio, though obviously suffering from mental illness, was "mocked, beaten, electrocuted, stripped naked and killed," by Phoenix Police officers and Maricopa County detention officers in December of last year.

Raw video of what Manning calls a "jailers riot" was released previously by the MCSO. Culling info from this video as well as from public documents and recordings released by the MCSO, Manning details the excessive force and humiliation inflicted upon the 44 year-old during his brief stay in MCSO custody.

According to interviews done by MCSO detectives of the detention officers and Phoenix cops involved, Atencio was not violent when he was brought to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Fourth Avenue Jail. This, after being arrested for yelling at a woman in West Phoenix on December 15.

Nevertheless, Atencio was manhandled and verbally abused throughout the booking process that night, according to Manning. 

The attorney writes that PPD officer Patrick Hanlon "painfully marched Marty" around, quoting a witness as stating PPD officers led Atencio "with his hands and arms bent in what looked to be a very painful position" toward a processing room where he was to be handed over to MCSO custody.

In that room, moments later, Atencio would be pounced upon by a pack of deputies and PPD officers.

After being brutalized, Tased repeatedly, and left naked in a so-called "safe cell," Atencio stopped breathing. CPR was administered, and Atencio was transported, brain dead, to St. Joseph's Hospital. His family ultimately removed him from life support days later.

What prompted this deadly outbreak of violence against a harmless mentally ill man? Seems Atencio would not take off his shoes fast enough for the officers. So they leapt upon him, in what one witness described as a "dog pile."

MCSO detention officer Anthony Hatton struck Atencio "with a closed fist, multiple times," while Atencio was down, smothered in cops. Atencio also was repeatedly Tased by MCSO Sergeant Jason Weiers.

"Marty was screaming in pain, in a deep voice," according to one witness. 

Another witness stated, "If they Tase him anymore, they are going to kill him." 

Atencio likely breathed his last breath on his own in "safe cell 4," where Hatton "struck Marty several times with his knee," as others held him down. Another detention officer present, Blas Gabriel, "yelled out" at Hatton to stop, because he "didn't think that was necessary."

After Atencio was left in the safe cell, cops, detention officers and other jail personnel danced, joked and laughed about what had just transpired. Video shows two female jail staffers as they "dance and bump their butts together," while "another female CHS worker as well as another [detention officer] indifferently watch their antics."

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A Phoenix Police Officer, identified as Patrick Hanlon, all grins after Atencio's "law enforcement subdual"

Hatton and Hanlon, as identified by the notices of claim, can be seen smiling and laughing in the video. Manning provides several screen shots from MCSO video in both documents.

(Note: PDFs of the notices of claim are available after the jump.)


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17 comments
faithbaby17
faithbaby17

They are sick people who Will only b brought down for the better

faithbaby17
faithbaby17

You killed someone who meant something are you proud to call yourselves policemen when you wrongfully killed someone you should be asshamed of yourselves! You killed a veteran, an uncle, a father, a meaningful person to the atencio family. You deserve justice because you could have provented this but instead you made this happen. Police are suppose to protect not fight against someone who protected your country. Go pity yourself because I know there will be justice on all you heartless cowards

Fred Sanford
Fred Sanford

should have stayed where he belonged and this would not have happened

KAG
KAG

Well said! 

KAG
KAG

Aw, thank you so much!  My situation has indeed vastly improved since then. I got help thru the VA and am now on medications for Bipolar and Depression. I also now live in New Orleans.  ( I left soon after that incident)  I'm an artist and New Orleans has some wonderful things to paint.  I appreciate that.  :o)   

KAG
KAG

Thank you, I guess I was lucky to survive! After that, I did get help and was diagnosed with Bipolar, ADHD, and depression disorder.  I am now on medication and have a fairly normal life again.  I also got help with my addiction issues, and have been clean and sober now for over a year.  However, I had to do it in another city..I left Phoenix in Sept. 2010 after almost 20 years, and am now in New Orleans.  I do miss my desert, and my Mom and brother.  But it's not the same city I first came to in 1988, and I was just never going to go thru something like that again. There is alot to like about Arizona, the natural beauty of the desert, the fantastic sunsets and night starscapes out on the beeline, are some of the most beautiful I've ever witnessed.   But the political, legal, and law enforcement systems are some of the most backward I'd ever encountered, and what's more,seemingly designed to keep one entrapped for years.  That's too scary for me. btw, I am white and educated, and very much miss the Mexican food!!   

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Mr. Lemons, as always I have to wonder if the law enforcement agencies involved have initiated any internal investigations into possible policy violations. It certainly appears from the information in the civil filing that there would be policy and/or criminal violations with some of the LE people involved. If neither agency has initiated such an investigation you should be asking why not, if you've not already. Regarding MCSO I will have to assume, based on similar incidents in the past few years, that those involved are now considered eligible for promotion. I have watched the video many times and find the actions of this "officers" despicable, at best.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

Montgomery is a fucking pussy, that's the problem. Too much power and not enough ethics as with most elected officials.

John
John

 While I can certainly understand where you are coming from, I none the less cannot accept it as the truth, least I would hate my own race.  In fact I believe you proved my point more correctly than you disproved it, when you stated ‘’Nazis’’ instead of ‘’German people’’.  The Nazis were in fact that group of nut cases of which I spoke.  We of course still have them today, and sadly right here in our  own Country, although minus one JT Ready as of late.  What makes a person, and of any given skin tone dislike or even hate those of another, I have wrestled with much of my life.  I have no answer, it’s simply something which I cannot understand, as hard as I have tried.  I cannot however in good faith join in the belief that such is a ‘’white thing only’’, no more so than I can join in the belief that the ‘’Illegal Mexican’’ is the cause of all of AZ’s troubles, and that ‘’Blacks’’ are prone to crime.  I will however give you this:  the ‘’Whiteman’’ has in fact over a great many years committed some pretty despicable acts, of which I myself take no credit nor blame however saddened that I am.  Peace brother.

John
John

 Darn good thought!  Perhaps we should ALL start picking up the phone?

Nudogg
Nudogg

But John, what took place in Germany had everything to do with racial heritage and hatred of that heritage.   Little is it known in this country that the heritage of the Semites in Nazi Germany was an African heritage.  Nazi's looked upon Semites as "non-whites" because their ancestors were black who resided in Africa prior to entering Europe.  We've all seen Semites that seem to have a darker tinge to them than most other whites of European descent, but most of us never think or say much of it.  Hence, Hitler hated blacks too. The thing is John, is  that, just  like back then, Americans waited too long before getting involved.  It's always like that though.  White Americans, generally, don't really bother with the plight of Americans of color until that plight begins to touch there own.  That is when there is reason enough to feel some solidarity with the plight of  the other.  Certainly, there are always a few exceptions like yourself.  But, by and large, it's usually just the opposite with most others. Consequently, we're in this mess that we're in.  

Coz
Coz

In order for that to happen, there would have to be honor involved, and thats just not going to happen with Montepoodle.

Idontlikeyou
Idontlikeyou

That just described the Newtimes as well! Lets rile everone up and get everyones blood boiling so that we can fight hate with hate! Really? Thats the best they can do? Come up with some actual solutions instead of fighting hate with hate.

Idontlikeyou
Idontlikeyou

Right, because "cops" don't pay taxes? I see you put a lot of thought into that post.

Nudogg
Nudogg

John, you make many good points.  They are well taken by the Nudogg.  There is much i would like to add to your thoughts in reply.  However, it would seem to me that this topic between us might be better served to remain in the thoughtful exchange we've already made.  This forum could never hold this complex and many layer conversation it would take to flesh out our thoughts. Thank you for your thoughtful reply  John. The peace of the divine intelligence be always with you brother John.

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