Ryan Cavalear, a 34-year-old man who said he is an Army veteran and broke his back during his military service, testified yesterday how two Corrections officers beat him up last year at the Department of Corrections where he was then an inmate.
Assistant attorney general Matthew Baisley called Cavalear to the stand as the government’s second witness at the start yesterday of a Superior Court bench trial of Corrections Officer Ray Anthony Maratita Camacho.
The government’s first witness was former DOC Commissioner Georgia Cabrera. Cabrera was the DOC commissioner when the alleged police brutality happened at pod 2 exit door on April 1, 2016. It was Cabrera who called the assistance of police detective Catherine Pangelinan on April 4, 2016 for help to follow up Cavalear’s police brutality complaint against Corrections officers Camacho and Admisen Dasio Haddy. Haddy signed a plea deal with the government.
Cavalear testified that on April 1, 2016 he was supposed to receive his medication for pain from his oral surgery upon a nurse’s instruction.
Cavalear said he was yelling at the intercom because his pain medication was apparently lost and that he was frustrated, was angry, and was in so much pain.
“I raised my voice, but I did not break the law,” he said, adding that officers Camacho and Haddy along with two other officers came to his cell.
Cavalear said Camacho was telling him he was lying and “a big mouth American.”
He said Camacho grabbed his arm as he explained it’s his right to receive medication.
“I was in pain and was scared,” said Cavalear, adding that Camacho grabbed his neck while he was sitting on the bed and pulled him up off the bed.
He said Camacho head-locked him and that he could not breath. He said Camacho then threw him on the floor. He said Camacho then strangled his neck and Haddy’s left knee landed on his right shoulder. He said one officer grabbed his legs.
Cavalear said he was shouting to stop because he was not resisting and his back hurts.
He said Camacho and Haddy slammed his head to the steel door. He said Haddy and Camacho stepped on his feet and Camacho punched his face.
Cavalear later said he was not sure whether Camacho punched him or slapped his face.
Pangelinan stated in her report that she reviewed the footage of DOC’s surveillance cameras and observed Cavalear being handcuffed from the back and was not resisting.
Baisley played in court some footages of the incident.
Cavalear will resume his testimony today, Wednesday. The trial will continue at 8:30am with the government’s expert witness then followed by either Cavalear or Cabrera again.
Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo is presiding over the bench trial. Defense attorney Colin Thompson is counsel for Camacho.
Camacho is on trial for assault and battery, and disturbing the peace. Haddy, who is Camacho’s co-defendant, had already entered a guilty plea.
According to Baisley in the information, Camacho and Haddy applied excessive force in handling Cavalear on multiple occasions, including handcuffing him while not resisting; pulling back victim’s arm with excessive force and to cause pain; forcing victim’s head and neck down with excessive force and to cause pain; stepping on the victim’s arms and body in opposite direction with excessive force and to cause pain; hitting the victim in the face while he was restrained, “as well as other unlawful acts of striking, beating, or wounding the victim.”