Julie Johnson / The Press Democrat
SANTA ROSA – The brother of a Mendocino County man who died while being restrained at the jail has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $5 million in an agreement that requires two law enforcement agencies provide new training procedures for handling people in crisis.
Steven Neuroth, 55, of Ukiah died after his June 11, 2014 arrest when he was being held face-down on the ground, with his hands handcuffed and ankles shackled, by law enforcement officers in a sobering cell at the Mendocino County Jail as a medical staff member watched.
Before the death, the arresting officer from the Willits Police Department is shown in a jail video joking about Neuroth, who was described by his family’s lawyer as a schizophrenic man in psychiatric crisis, and laughing about his fear of snakes with a vocational nurse there to evaluate his wellbeing.
“Walk up there and say ‘Ah, snakes!’ Funniest thing you’ve ever seen,” said Officer Kevin Leef, who is now a sergeant.
“Should’ve let him get hit by a car,” said Jennifer Caudillo, the vocational nurse. …
This tragic case handled by Haddad & Sherwin LLP resulted in significant reforms.