Man In Mental Health Crisis Dies After Police Kneel On His Neck For Nearly 5 Mins, Claims Family

Man In Mental Health Crisis Dies After Police Kneel On His Neck For Nearly 5 Mins, Claims Family

Angelo Quinto was "suffering from anxiety, depression, and paranoia for the previous few months". On December 23, he was having a mental breakdown when the police were alerted.

Image Source: YouTube/John Burris Law Offices

Trigger Warning: This story contains distressing footage that readers may find disturbing

It seems like police officers just don't know where to draw the line while using physical force and a recent tragedy is a heartbreaking example of it. When a 30-year-old Northern California man was experiencing a mental health episode, officers decided to subdue him by kneeling on the back of his neck for five minutes, according to his family's lawyers. He died a few days later. Angelo Quinto was "suffering from anxiety, depression, and paranoia for the previous few months," according to the family's attorneys who have filed a wrongful death claim on February 18. Then on December 23, he began experiencing one more when his sister Isabella Collins alerted the police out of fear that he would hurt their mother,  the family's lawyer John L Burris said on February 18 during a press conference.




Right before the officers arrived, Quinto's mother had been holding Quinto to her chest with her hands gripped around his back for a few minutes, and "he had already started to calm down," reports CNN. That's when two officers from the Antioch Police Department arrived at the scene. According to Burris, the cops did not even attempt to understand what was going on and instead immediately grabbed Quinto, a Navy Veteran, from his mother's arms, according to The Hill. When the man eventually lost consciousness, he was transported to a local hospital. He tragically passed away three days later, according to the family attorney. Apparently, Quinto's mother Maria Quinto-Collins had managed to record a part of the incident on her cellphone. 




When her son, who was laying on his front, was no longer moving, his worried mother breathlessly asked him, "What happened?" As officers rolled him over to carry his body out, they saw that his face had turned bloody. He was quickly moved to a gurney and paramedics began administering chest compressions on Quinto. Meanwhile, his concerned mother continued recording the scene and asking questions. Quinto's sister Isabella was heartbroken by the tragedy, especially because she had called the police in the hopes that they would help de-escalate the situation. "I don't think I will ever not feel bad," she told CNN affiliate KGO. "If it was the right thing to do, it wouldn't have killed my brother."




"Given what we know, a healthy young man in his mother's arms. They stuffed the life out of him," said attorney John Burris, according to ABC7. It's not clear if the officers were wearing body cameras in the video. But last week Burris said, "As far as we know, they were not." Although it has been almost two months since his death, the police department has not issued a press release regarding the incident. They haven't even named the officers who were involved in the incident that ended in Quinto's death. 




When CNN reached out to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Coroner's Division and the Antioch Police Department, they did not respond to their request for comments. "These Antioch police officers had already handcuffed Angelo but did not stop their assault on the young man and inexplicably began using the 'George Floyd' technique of placing a knee on the back and side of his neck, ignoring Mr. Quinto pleas of 'please don't kill me,'" Burris shared. "This is wrongful death in the sense that their conduct caused the death of this person. This was a healthy person before, and now his life is gone," he added. The Contra Costa County Sheriff Coroner's office revealed on Monday that Quinto's cause of death was still pending. Currently, the circumstances surrounding his death are being investigated by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office.



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