The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is scheduled to release details of a settlement with the family of a 24-year-old man who died after being detained by two of their employees in 2019.
The family of Angel Zapata Hernandez will also be present as MTS announces the details of the settlement plus efforts to reform their security operations at 10 a.m. Monday.
Hernandez was on the train platform at the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego when he was approached by an MTS code compliance officer. According to SDPD, the officer believed Hernandez might walk in front of the train.
MTS employees and witnesses described Hernandez as acting erratically. When the MTS employee tried to detain the man, he ran approximately 100 yards before surrendering.
When SDPD officers arrived, the MTS code compliance officer and an MTS security officer had handcuffed Hernandez on the ground. SDPD said their officers noticed the man appeared to be in medical distress and a paramedic was called, while officers gave the man first-aid.
Hernandez was taken to the hospital where he died.
Hernandez’s family questioned the incident and called on the public to turn over videos or witness accounts that could help them get answers.
They said Hernandez had a history of drug use but had been sober for over a year. He was also diagnosed with undifferentiated schizophrenia and took regular medication. His aunt told NBC 7 he knows he took his medication that day.
NBC 7’s Rory Devine shares a family’s plea to find answers for what happened to a man who died while being detained by an MTS officer.
Witnesses did not report seeing any force by the MTS employees except holding Hernandez to the ground as he kicked and screamed, SDPD said.
MTS said their security officers are trained in de-escalation, CPR and how to help people with disabilities. At the time in 2019, there were more than 200 MTS security officers patrolling the system, including some with canines, the agency said.