Gerardo Martinez Sr. speaks about the videotaped arrest at a news conference held Monday, May 14, 2018.
VISTA (NEWS 8) - Charges were dropped Monday against a Vista man who was seen on social media being arrested on a sidewalk area at a condominium complex in Vista by San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
His son remains charged with domestic violence a week after video surfaced showing deputies man-handling the two handcuffed suspects.
Surrounded by his family members while speaking to the press, Gerardo Martinez Sr. said what happened to him and his son has changed his life forever.
“I don’t trust the police. When I see the police on the street I shake because I am scared.”
The incident which Martinez Sr. was referring to was captured on cellphone video recorded by a neighbor.
The video appears to show two deputies picking Martinez Sr. up off the ground, handcuffed, and then walking him toward a wooden fence where the man's head is slammed into the fence.
The arrest happened at the family’s Vista apartment May 7th.
Gerardo Martinez' daughter, Karina Martinez speaks about the videotaped arrest at a news conference held Monday May 14, 2018.
Deputies had responded to the family’s home for a domestic violence incident.
According to prosecutors, Martinez Jr. choked his girlfriend and violated a restraining order she had filed against him.
When asked about the charges, his sister Karina Martinez said, “You can speak to our lawyer. We don’t want to talk about that. Our focus is how their civil rights were violated.”
Family spokesperson Mark Lane said, “We have a judicial system that says you are innocent until proven guilty. We have a police force to make an arrest if an arrest needs to be made. They are not the judge, jury and executioner.”
According to Lane, deputies had been to the home on three previous occasions regarding junior and nothing like this had ever happened before.
On Monday, Martinez Sr. was scheduled to be arraigned on a felony obstruction of a public officer charge, but that charge was dropped.
When asked if the cell phone video played a role, the deputy district attorney only said, “we reviewed the evidence and the information presented to our office from the law enforcement agency.”
However, an attorney for the family, Francisco Javier Aldana, said the video made all the difference.
“They dismissed the case because of the video. Had it not been for an innocent bystander, this case would never have been dismissed they would’ve forced him to plead to something else,” said Aldana.
Speaking in Spanish, Karina had a message to others: “You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. What happened to my father and brother was not right. It is something I never imagined I would have to deal with. I thank God that my father and brother are alive because there have been a lot of people who have not had that luck.”
Cooler Monday as tail end of a storm passes through the region. High surf through Tuesday as the storm kicks up waves.
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