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UPDATE: Geoffrey Wise Bertagnolli Died Jumping From Graton Casino Parking Garage After Escaping Police Custody

Sep 12, 2019

Geoffrey Bertagnolli Granton: Geoffrey Wise Bertagnolli Died Jumping From Graton Casino and Resort Parking Garage After Escaping Police Custody

GRANTON, CALIFORNIA (September 9, 2019) – A 24-year-old man from Nevada identified as Geoffrey Wise Bertagnolli has tragically died after jumping from the 5th floor of the Graton Casino parking garage.

Sonoma County police are saying that Geoffrey Wise Bertagnolli was detained minutes earlier after he was deemed a suicide risk. Police pulled him from the edge of the building and took him into custody. 

Authorities placed Geoffrey Wise Bertagnolli in handcuffs on a psychological hold. For reasons that remain under investigation, the victim was able to break free which sent deputies chasing after him. 

Tragically, Geoffrey Wise Bertagnolli jumped off of the 5th floor of the Graton Casino and Resort Parking Garage. Despite life-saving efforts he died at the scene due to his injuries. 

There is currently an active investigation to determine if deputies followed agency policies prior to the tragic death of the victim. 

Liability For In-Custody Deaths 

Law enforcement agencies have a legal responsibility to protect individuals in their care. This includes a responsibility to take care of suspects that are known to have suicidal thoughts. When police officers show “deliberate indifference” to the serious medical needs of a suspect with suicidal intentions they may face municipal liability. 

In order to show that officers were “deliberately indifferent” to a suspects medical needs, the following must be demonstrated:

  • Police officers failed to take action to prevent a suicide
  • Police officers had affirmative  and specific knowledge that a suspect is at risk 

It’s important that evidence is preserved after an incident. There should be a thorough investigation into whether or not police officials were following procedure with a suspect. Suspects, for example, must be properly restrained, especially when they are suicidal. 

These types of cases can be extremely difficult and are best examined by a skilled personal injury attorney. An attorney can investigate your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what happened. They can let you know if police officers were following procedure and walk you through what your rights are. 

The family of any victim that died while in police custody may be able to seek justice through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help with funeral expenses, lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Potential claimants in a civil matter may include a victim’s spouse, children, parents and siblings. There are, however, very strict statute of limitations with respect to civil claim, so it’s important to act quickly. 

Investigating An In-Custody Death

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Geoffrey Wise Bertagnolli. This is a complete tragedy that should never have taken place. Any person with information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that measures will be taken to prevent additional incidents like this. 

If you are struggling with emotional or psychological distress there is help available. You can always reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7 and will provide free and confidential support for you or your loved ones. 

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