Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón’s chief of staff filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the Azusa Police Department, accusing officers of violating his civil rights when they arrested him last month.
Joseph Iniguez, 36, was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication on Dec. 11 after officers pulled over a vehicle driven by his fiancé shortly before midnight. Hours before the lawsuit was made public, Azusa police released several pages of documents in response to a public records request filed by The Times. In the documents, an officer claimed Iniguez had “bloodshot” eyes and was slurring his speech when he allegedly interfered with the officers’ actions during the vehicle stop.
According to the police report, officers initially stopped Iniguez’s vehicle because his fiancé, who was driving, made an illegal U-turn into a McDonald’s drive-through in the 900 block of East Alosta Avenue.
The arresting officer — who is identified in the documents only as “Cpl. R. Martinez” — approached the car and said he smelled alcohol, according to the report. He asked Iniguez’s fiancé if he had been drinking and Iniguez replied that he “was the cause of the odor and he had consumed several alcoholic beverages,” according to the report.
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