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This is a developing situation, we’ll be updating, to read the full story scroll down to “original.”
UPDATE 1:57 p.m. — We have received three new videos of Ukiah Police Officers repeatedly tasing, and beating Gerardo Magdaleno. The videos were filmed by people working near the incident. (See the full videos below, warning they are graphic in nature)
In the videos, which appear to have been shot on phones, we see Magdaleno standing naked near the street. The videos are also longer and fill in many details. In these new videos it’s clear that the beating was significantly longer, included kicks while Magdaleno was down, from multiple officers, and that he was tased at least three times.
The Mendocino County Jail confirmed that Magdaleno is being held there, was brought there yesterday, and has a $15,000 bail listed. Repeated requests for comment from the Ukiah Police Department have been met with silence. According to a receptionist at the UPD main number, Chief Wyatt is out today. Several voicemails have been left with lieutenant, but calls have not been returned. As of time of publication no statement from the UPD had been posted on their site or social media.
Due to the graphic nature of the video they’ve been placed at the bottom of the page.
UPDATE 10:25 a.m. — The Mendocino Voice has made multiple calls to the Ukiah Police Department asking for a statement, the identity of the officers involved, and other information. We have gotten no response, but were told that Chief Wyatt is not in today. In a brief interview Mayor Juan Orozco said, “What we needed more of is training for our officers, and situations like what happened, from what I know, it’s not something that should be handled by the police…” He added that he believes such situation should be handled by mental health professionals, saying, “our police officers may not have enough training to handle situations like what happened.”
MENDOCINO Co., 4/2/21 — Officers of the Ukiah Police Department beat a local mentally ill man who had stripped naked in south Ukiah, pepper spraying him, tasing him, knocking him to the asphalt, and then punching him repeatedly in the face before flipping him over him and striking him repeatedly in the back of the head, a video shows. (Click here or scroll down to view the videos, warning they are graphic)
Family members said Gerardo Magdaleno, 25, of Ukiah was hospitalized at Ukiah Medical Center, with fractures to the face and a concussion.
Sometime on Thursday afternoon, Magdaleno — who family members say has schizophrenia with a history of bi-polar disorder and drug abuse — stripped naked in the parking lot of the Ukiah Bakery Outlet.
His sister, Luna Magdaleno, 30 of Ukiah, said Magdaleno had recently run out of medication for his schizophrenia and had taken a dose of LSD that morning. His other sister, Veronica Diaz, 28, noted that her brother often turns to non-prescription drugs when he runs out of his prescribed meds.
After being beaten and arrested, Magdaleno was hospitalized, then removed from the hospital, though whether he was taken to the Mendocino County Jail is unclear. The jail booking log shows an old mugshot, and three charges: misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession, misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and felony resisting arrest or threatening an officer.
According to his family, Magdaleno is well known to local law enforcement and social services, and is often homeless. They also said that he has at least once before been badly beaten by UPD officers, including being attacked by a police dog which resulted in substantial damage to his penis. Said Diaz, “Unless he’s off taking his medication, he’s a good person.” Luna Magdalena added, “He wasn’t running, he wasn’t forcing anybody…he wasn’t resisting…I don’t know why this is happening.”
Though attempts were made to contact UPD officials, due to this story breaking after business hours no police comment was available. We will follow up in the morning.
The beating was documented in two graphic videos, which can be viewed below, and were filmed by an employee of the bakery, then posted to Facebook where they were widely shared before being pulled by the social media company, apparently due to nudity.
The first video begins with Magdaleno lying supine on the asphalt of the parking lot, with a bearded UPD officer standing several feet away instructing him not to move and to “get on the ground.” In the video it is clear that Magdaleno is completely nude, not wearing shoes, socks, underwear, nor a shirt. The National Weather Service recorded a high of 82 degrees in Ukiah on Thursday, and the incident occurred in the afternoon — indicating that the asphalt was likely quite hot. Magdaleno then stands, briefly steps towards the officer, who then pepper sprays him.
The first video then ends. The second video picks up with Magdaleno now firmly in the grasp of two officers, one holding each of his arms. He once again tries to stand when there is an audible pop as a third officer shoots with his taser in the back. Magdaleno then goes rigid and collapses. It’s at this point that the two officers who were holding him release him and begin to punch him repeatedly in the face and about the shoulders. A fourth officer then appears who grabs Magdaleno by the feet, and helps to flip him onto his stomach, in the process of which his head is slammed into the ground. One of the officers then proceeds to punch him repeatedly in the back of the head, while the others cuff him.
Magdaleno’s current status, whether he is in county jail or a medical facility, is unknown to us and to his family. Magdaleno’s sisters said that they’d called police repeatedly only to be hung up on.
We will follow up with police and other officials in the morning.
Social media posts
The videos of Magdaleno being beaten were widely disseminated on Facebook before being pulled, according to the woman who initially posted them, for nudity. In the comment sections of those videos several people posted a screenshot from the Mendocino County Jail’s booking log, showing a prior arrest of Magdaleno’s for a sexual assault. That arrest no longer shows up in the booking log.
Family members say that Magdaleno was released and never formally charged for this formerly-alleged offense, due to insufficient evidence and the apparent victim recanting. However, that has not been confirmed with authorities.
This incident occurs only a couple months since former sergeant Kevin Murray, 37, of the UPD was arrested on rape charges, and sexual assault charges while on duty.
Warning to viewers: these videos are graphic and show violence and nudity