Lawsuit filed against BCSO Sheriff and county commissioners over false detention
37-year-old David Chacon spent more than five months in a county jail awaiting trial for an aggravated assault charge before his case was dismissed this month.
According to a report by the Albuquerque Journal, in that five month span, Chacon contracted COVID-19 and multiple staph infections on different parts of his body.
He also missed the birth of his daughter, the death and funeral services of his grandfather, and lost his job.
Chacon is now suing Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales and county commissioners after discovering that the belt tapes turned over by the arresting sheriff’s deputies showed discrepancies and “called into question the credibility of the allegations against the defendant.”
Deputies could be heard on the tape discussing if they thought Chacon accuser, his neighbor, was drunk and lying. Deputies could also be heard wondering if they should charge her with making a false report.
The suit, which was filed at the end of November, alleges among other items, false arrest, malicious prosecution, defamation, and negligence in training and supervision on the part of the sheriff.
According to the report by the Journal, a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court back on August 13, 2020 said Chacon’s neighbor called 911, saying that Chacon had messaged her and told her to “go outside and he will put a bullet in her mouth.” The neighbor told 911 he was outside with a gun.
Deputies arrived on scene, where they spoke to the neighbor who had called. She told the deputies that Chacon had walked towards her and brandished a pistol out of his waistband and told her he would put a bullet in her.
Police then formed a perimeter around his apartment and ordered Chacon to come out. He complied with their order, and exited the apartment with his hands raised. But according to the complaint, he did not comply with deputies orders to get on his knees. The complaint went on to say that Chacon yelled at deputies, telling them to shoot him.
Deputies then fired a nonlethal pepperball at Chacon, and took him into custody, charging him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is a fourth-degree felony.
Prosecutors in Chacon’s case cited the felony charge and allegations against him as reason for him to be held in jail pending his trial. The motion was granted.
Chacon’s attorneys then began requesting evidence in the meantime, that included the belt tapes from the arresting deputies.
Between this initial request, it took three months and two additional requests before the deputies finally compiled according to a lawsuit filed by Chacon.
When Chacon’s atternories finally acquired the tapes and heard the deputies, they knew this evidence dramatically undermined the case.
Prosecutors then asked for the case to be dismissed, citing that the contents of these belt tapes made it so the state could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a quote given to the Journal, Chacon’s attorney says he is doing great and raising his family, but there’s now a six month period of his life that is missing.