A “severely autistic” Louisiana teenager died when her duty was handcuffed, pushed and sat on her for more than nine minutes, her parents said, adding that a federal lawsuit filed this week In.
The teenager, Eric Parsa, died on January 19, 2020, after an incident in the parking lot of Westgate Shopping Center in Metairie, about seven miles northwest of New Orleans.
A lawsuit was filed Thursday in the US district court in New Orleans against the Jefferson Parish Sheriff Office and seven of its personnel.
According to The Times, Eric Parsa’s mother Donna Lu said via video conference on Thursday, “We never thought that our 16-year-old son with special needs would die before our eyes and at the hands of law enforcement.” -Pychuun.
Donna Lu and Daren Parsa said they were at a laser tag center with their son when they found a “meltdown” in the parking lot of Westgate Mall, according to the suit. The teenager, who was described as obese, non-verbal and severely autistic, began slapping himself in the head.
He then slaps his father and kills him, causing the man to bleed. The manager of the Laser Tag Center asked the family if they needed police assistance and the family said, yes.
Jefferson Parish Deputy Chad Pitfield, who provided security at the mall, was the first to respond. The suit states that by the time Pittfield arrived at the scene, the physical dispute between Eric Parsa and his father had ended.
But after the deputy’s arrival, the teenager again slaps himself and his father. Eric Parsa then slaps Pitfield as the deputy is removed.
“Pitfield responded by taking the EP to the ground,” the suit says. “Deputy Pitfield then stated that EP patted his leg. Pitfield responded by hitting EP with a strike … towards the head area.”
The suit states that Pittfield knew that Eric Parsa had autism. At some point, the deputy called other officers for assistance.
During the transformation, Pitfield stopped the teen with two pair of handcuffs due to the size of the teenager. Pitfield is accused of sitting on Eric Parsa’s back for about seven minutes.
Six other deputies reacted to the scene. Eventually, Pittfield broke away from the juvenile and another deputy, Nick Vega, began to sit on Eric Parsa’s back, according to the lawsuit.
Vega is alleged to have picked up the teenager’s stuffy hands above his head and put him in a chokehold or neck grip after Erica Parsa tried to get up.
According to the lawsuit, the juvenile was held on the ground for 9 minutes and 6 seconds. During that time, “there were many clear and specific occasions when the EP was safe, not quiet, not actively protesting,” it states, adding that deputies should have added but “use of force appropriately” Didn’t reduce it. “
He was left in that position on the ground until his body became limp. At the time, Eric Parsa rolled towards him. “By then it was too late. The EP was dying,” the suit states.
Kishore’s mother said she was a doctor and offered to help him perform CPR, but according to the lawsuit she was “told to stay back.” Eric Parsa was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“JPSO’s duties knew that EPs were obese. They knew that he was autistic and ‘a child with special needs.’ They knew he was involved in recent physical exertion. They knew the EP was in a crisis situation and the family needed help. On top of that, “the lawsuit claims.
The parish coroner ruled the accidental death “as a result of accidental delirium” as a result of the “prone position” between his obesity and contributing factors. The suit says the death was not an accident.
The sheriff’s office said in a statement, “While the sheriff’s office understands that all deaths are the cause of grief and a time of grief. This lawsuit is rife with false claims and malicious allegations against first-respondent duties.”
Sheriff’s officials said deputies were trying to control the outbreak of a violent teenager and prevent him from hurting himself and others.
“The case on a severely autistic teenager diagnoses a number of other mental conditions, causing her to have a violent outbreak,” the statement said. “The teenager beat up his own father, beating him severely.
The depot Pitfield and Vega could not be reached immediately on Saturday.
The family is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages.
The Associated Press has contributed.