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Back on May 19 around 0200 (that’s two a.m. for you civilian folks), four men decked out in black tactical gear (including bulletproof vests) and carrying fully-automatic rifles burst into the home of a Gilbert family, assaulted a man and began ransacking the home for a stash of $60,000 in jewelry, all the while claiming to be police. When they heard the sirens getting closer, the men bailed, jumping into a Cadillac Escalade and a Jeep Liberty, driving away just as police arrived. Officers gave chase.
The Escalade was stopped without much of a fuss. Four of the men in the Jeep, however, led police on a chase that at times reached speeds of 120 MPH. The suspects bailed out and led a foot chase, then managed to get back to the vehicle and start pursuit again. Finally, an officer performed a PIT maneuver (Pursuit Immobilization Technique), sending the Jeep rolling.
One of the assailants was pinned under the Jeep–21-year-old Anthony Gonzales. By the time rescue crews arrived he was declared dead. The other four–Rafael Chacon, Robert Gonzales, Isidro Pinedo and Dominicio Soldano–were all arrested. All four have been charged with first-degree murder in Anthony’s death along with B&E, aggravated assault, kidnapping, attempted murder, evading arrest, misconduct involving weapons and wearing body armor during the commission of a crime.
On November 12, Anthony Gonzales’ mother Marlo filed notice of intent to sue the Gilbert Police Department. Her reasons? They caused his death–first by executing a PIT maneuver outside regulation, then by “refusing” to administer medical treatment after the accident.
You’ll love this. At age 21, Gonzales was already a convicted felon. He is also known as ADC inmate # 204684, conviced of armed robbery and sentenced to no less than three years behind bars. He was released in April of this year.
His gang’s home invasion occurred exactly one month after he was turned loose on the populace.
I feel no sympathy for Anthony Gonzales. I feel none for his family, either. Police officers responding to a home invasion where there are multiple armed suspects are going to do everything they can to stop the incident before innocent people are hurt or killed. They knew the men were armed and wearing tactical gear. They knew it was already bad and would get worse. All PIT maneuvers are dangerous, Marlo–you’re doing something you know will send a vehicle moving at a high rate of speed out of control. That’s why, once it’s done, all the cops get away from the vehicle.
As for the claim that officers refused to render aid, what were they supposed to do? Go charging in and asking, “do you need help?” Police officers, for the most part, are not charged with providing medical assistance because their priority is securing the scene. They called rescue crews, who would have staged–gathered somewhere nearby where it was safe–until officers cleared them to come in. They wouldn’t have done that until they knew none of the perpetrators was going to start shooting.
If anything, I would wish the police would sue Marlo and the families of the surviving perps–for raising the little hellions who terrorized the Valley. I wish the victims of the home invasion would do the same. Face it, honey: your child was a monster and you are making excuses. And if you really wanna get mad, get mad at your boy for not wearing a seatbelt. If he had been wearing it he wouldn’t have been ejected from the vehicle and it wouldn’t have landed on him (it’s worth mentioning that rarely does a person ever survive rollover accidents in which they end up pinned beneath the vehicle).
Those police officers are heroes for making sure that no innocent people were hurt or killed.