During an altercation with police in March of this year, 35-year-old Christopher Eisinger was left brain dead after going into cardiac arrest. Days later, he was taken off life support and died. The family of Eisinger are now filing a Wrongful Death lawsuit against both the city and Police Chief Jorge Cisneros (although Cisneros was not the Police Chief at the time of the incident).
Police were called by a woman that reported Eisinger in her backyard, alleging that he was attempting to break into the house and the family’s cars. The responding officer reported that upon arriving at the scene Eisinger bolted, dropping a large object that may have been a pole or stick.
The officer was joined by four others, all of whom were able to catch up to Eisinger when he tripped and fell. Officers say that he strongly resisted arrest, kicking and flailing his arms while attempting to avoid the officer’s grasps.
At the time, acting Police Chief Julian Harvey stated that officers “did not employ a carotid restraint, did not deploy impact weapons, did not deploy a Taser or deliver any strikes to the suspect” and that Eisinger “tried to take an officer’s Taser and pulled another officer’s holster”. He also stated that four offices had body cameras rolling at the time, and that although they are not prepared to release the videos, “our officers followed policy, showed great restraint in their application of force and handled this very challenging situation professionally.”
The complaint which was recently filed in Orange County Superior Court lists both parents of Eisinger as plaintiffs. It seeks unspecified damages, alleging assault and battery, negligence and violation of the Bane Act.
Attorney Annee Della Donna stated that officers induced Eisinger’s death when they held his head down on the concrete for up to five minutes, until he stopped moving.
“Chris’s cardiac arrest caused by a lack of oxygen to his heart left him with a brain injury and cerebral edema which continued to progress while he was in a coma.”
Of the deceased, his mother said “we miss him…we miss his smile, we miss that Chris.”
John Rosenbaum is an Orange County Personal Injury and Workers Compensation attorney practicing out of his Laguna Hills office. If you might be in need of legal representation or advice, contact our office today for a free consultation.