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Crime & Justice

Another complaint emerges against Pasadena police department

The alleged incident occurred at Pasadena's Rose Bowl.
The alleged incident occurred at Pasadena's Rose Bowl.
Susan Valot/KPCC

In new court filings, a Pasadena police officer is accused of using excessive force against a man at the Rose Bowl in June 2011.

Pasadena's police department has been under scrutiny for the past couple of months, following the death of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade and the subsequent investigation of the incident. Since the shooting, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez has asked the LA Sheriff's department to investigate claims against two officers.

Now new accusations have been brought, this time citing Officer Gawlik and an unnamed female officer, who allegedly tackled a man, then arrested him and charged him with being drunk in public and resisting arrest. After being approached by Gawlick because of a drunk friend, Matthew Deuel apparently asked Gawlick if his friend didn't have a First Amendment right to be where he was, the complaint says:

"At that point the officer told Mr. Deuel if he did not take his friend away and leave he, along with his friend, would be charged with drunk in public. Mr. Deuel turned to leave and then turned around again. Mr. Deuel then asked the officer how he could be charged with being drunk in public when in fact he was completely sober. The officer then became angry and moved towards Mr. Deuel. Mr. Deuel turned to move away from the officer who then grabbed his clothing and spun him around. At this point a female officer came over, moved her body towards Mr. Deuel's lower half and Mr. Deuel buckled and was taken to the ground. The tackle resulted in Mr. Deuel being injured on his forehead, shoulder and other areas. He was taken to Huntington Hospital Emergency Room. He was arrested for 'public intoxication' and 'resisting arrest.'"

The filing claims the doctor who treated Deuel at the hospital (while police waited in the hallway) says he was not intoxicated. Deuel and his friend have said that Deuel was the designated driver that day.

Charges were later dismissed and Deuel is now suing the department for damages.

The filing, dated June 26, also lists accusations against Officer Kevin Okamoto and Detective Keith Gomez, who're now under investigation by the LA Sheriff's department for various allegations of falsifying or witholding evidence in separate cases.

Attorney Brad Gage said the additional information was included because "we want to show a pattern and practice of misconduct by Pasadena police."

Representatives from the Pasadena Police Department and Pasadena City Council have not yet responded to our requests for comment. We'll have updates when they do.


Deuel Complaint against Pasadena Police