PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — The family of a 27-year-old woman who attempted suicide in a Pasadena jail earlier this year is suing the Pasadena Police Department and the city of Pasadena for negligence, an attorney representing her family said Friday.
The inmate, Margarita Perez, was found unconscious in her Pasadena City Jail cell Feb. 22 and taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Perez is recovering and requires assistance with all daily activities and is under the 24-hour care of a nurse, said attorney Luis Carillo, who is representing Perez’s family.
Perez was arrested earlier in February on suspicion of grand theft, felony evading and two outstanding arrest warrants after leading police on a car chase in a stolen vehicle that ended on the 210 freeway. Her passenger, Felipe Moreno, 29, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft. The two were transients, according to reports.
Perez’s mother, Aurora Sanchez, believes Pasadena police officers knew her daughter had suicidal tendencies but failed to provide her with needed mental health treatment. The family is suing for unspecified monetary damages. The charges will be filed Monday.
“The jailers are very callous when they have somebody in their custody,” Carillo said. “They don’t care about the people in their custody.”
A police investigation found that strangulation was involved, according to a department spokesman. The police department also contacted the District Attorney’s Office, which did not respond, as the suicide attempt was not considered a use-of-force incident.