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City College police required to use force, incident caught on video

SDCCD police officers arrested a suspect with three outstanding warrants in the AH/BT quad.

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City College police required to use force, incident caught on video

Campus police arrested a suspect with three warrants. SDCCD Police file photo. By Jonny Rico/City Times

Campus police arrested a suspect with three warrants. SDCCD Police file photo. By Jonny Rico/City Times

Jonny Rico

Campus police arrested a suspect with three warrants. SDCCD Police file photo. By Jonny Rico/City Times

Jonny Rico

Jonny Rico

Campus police arrested a suspect with three warrants. SDCCD Police file photo. By Jonny Rico/City Times

Jonny Rico, Editor-in-Chief

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San Diego City College student Ryan Gonzalez was walking down the stairs to the AH/BT quad to leave campus on April 3 when he noticed a police vehicle roll onto campus.

Gonzalez said he saw two officers approached a man and put him into handcuffs before the man fell to the ground.  

“This was a traumatic event right in the middle of our school for all the students walking by to see,” wrote Gonzalez in an email to City Times detailing what he witnessed.

The incident, which happened at 5:44 p.m. according to the police report, was recorded by Gonzalez, co-founder of the City College organization Urban Scholars Union and known to friends as Ryan Flaco Rising. He later shared it publicly on his Facebook profile.

The arrest was also recorded on body cameras worn by the officers, according to San Diego Community College District Police lieutenant Louis Zizzo.

SDCCD officers arrested Gentry Gomez, 32, who had three outstanding warrants against him for drug related offenses, according to Zizzo.

“Mr. Gomez (has) been known to college police for several years,” Zizzo said. “He is a local transient. He is a regular narcotics user and we’ve arrested him several times.”  

According to San Diego Superior Court records, Gomez has been involved in 47 criminal cases.

Gonzalez’s video shows Gomez on the ground with officers trying to hold him up after having placed him in handcuffs.

Gonzalez is heard trying to alert the arresting officers that Gomez might be suffering a panic attack or a seizure.

“i seen him panic and he collapsed,” wrote Gonzalez. “Me being familiar with this panic attack and also studying and researching it in my psychology class certain bodies central nervous systems shutdown out of fear and i seen it numerous times in prison.”

Zizzo’s past experience with Gomez led him to a different conclusion.

“Mr. Gomez likes to feign injury,” said Zizzo, regarding the health concerns. “Not only us — I know that San Diego Police Department has had their officers that have had to deal with Mr. Gomez. Once he knows that he is going to be arrested, he feigns injury.”

Despite being certain that Gomez was not suffering from a medical condition, the officers transported Gomez to Sharp Memorial Hospital after taking him into custody, according to Zizzo.

“A doctor medically cleared him,” Zizzo said. “(Gomez) showed no signs of having a medical episode. Therefore he was released back into the care of the officers, who then booked him into county jail.”

Due to City College’s proximity to downtown San Diego, SDCCD officers come in contact with the homeless and transient population at a much higher rate compared to other community colleges in the district.

In 2017, there were a total of 41 drug related arrests made by officers at City College, according to the Annual Safety Report. San Diego Mesa College had five drug related arrests while San Diego Miramar had one in the same time frame.

In an October 2018 interview, Zizzo said that his department had already made 42 drug related arrests, surpassing the previous year. The lieutenant also said 41 of those 42 arrested admitted to being homeless or transient.  

Watch Ryan Gonzalez’s video below. For best viewing options click on the full screen button.

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City College police required to use force, incident caught on video