Watch CBS News

Coroner's Jury Finds Death of Angelo Quinto to Be 'Accidental'

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) -- In Contra Costa County, a coroner's jury on Friday released its findings into the death of Angelo Quinto, a man who died while in police custody late last year.

Quinto died three days after a struggle with Antioch police, who forcibly held him down during a mental health crisis.

Authorities say the 30-year-old was acting aggressively towards his mother when one of his sisters, Cassandra Collins, called police on December 23rd. Police restrained Angelo - but the family alleges officers had their knee on his neck for several minutes.

Antioch police say they only had a knee on his shoulder blade for a few seconds while handcuffing him.

On Friday, the coroner's inquest jury unanimously ruled Quinto's death as accidental. His death was blamed on "excited delirium," a state attributed to a narcolepsy drug found in Quinto's system.

It's a controversial diagnosis which the American Medical Association denounced in June, saying it is commonly used to justify excessive force by officers.

Family members say his death could have been avoided.

"It's extremely disappointing," said his sister, Isabella Quinto-Collins. "It's extremely painful and it's extremely constant...[we will] not stop fighting for what we believe in and what my brother deserves."

"It's really a bogus argument. We've had many cases and each time it has been debunked," said the family's attorney John Burris.

Earlier this month, Quinto's mother and younger sister filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages and alleging Antioch Police officers used excessive force when restraining him.

The suit names the city, Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks and Officers James Perkinson, Arturo Becerra, Daniel Hopwood and Nicholas Shipilov.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.