Undocumented man in coma after tasing incident with U.S. Customs
By: Stephanie Sanchez
Yuma, AZ-A man is fighting for his life after a tasing incident with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers.
The tasing incident happened at the San Luis Port of Entry. The man was identified as 41-year old Jose Gutierrez, a longtime resident of Los Angeles.
Gutierrez lived in the U.S. since he was a child, until he was deported by the L.A. immigration court.
His wife and three children were left behind and the day he tried crossing the border to reunite with them, would also be the day he'd end up in the hospital fighting for his life
"His health is worsening unfortunately, this morning he was foaming out of the mouth and he had an artificial respirator," said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, director of communications for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
Gutierrez is currently in a coma at Saint Joseph's hospital in Phoenix.
According to CBP officials, on March 30th Gutierrez was being processed at the San Luis Port of Entry for entering the country illegally .
CBPsays he attempted to flee back into Mexico and officers tased him.
"The man was combative, ignored commands to halt and subsequently was subdued by CBP officers using an electronic control device. Initial reports say the man struck his head on the ground during the incident," according to a statement released by CBP.
Gutierrez's wife says when she saw him at the hospital, he had taser marks all over his chest and arms. He also had a missing tooth, two black eyes and part of his skull had to be removed to relieve pressure in his brain.
"Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and took him to a local area hospital for further attention," according to the CBP statement. "We regret the injury and will continue to actively cooperate with the ongoing investigation."
Cabrera said CBP should be responsible for paying Gutierrez's medical bills.
Cabrera said currently two Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers are guarding his hospital room 24 hours a day, ready to deport him should he recover.
"We believe at this stage for the benefit of this three U.S. children and his U.S. citizen wife," Cabrera said. "That CBP should not deport this gentlemen and instead focus on him getting stabilized."
Cabrera also says the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Gutierrez a "temporary stay" in the U.S.
However, CBP still tells Gutierrez's wife he'll be shipped to Mexico.
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