Questionable Arrest Case has come to a Standstill

March 2, 2009 6:20:20 PM PST
The criminal case against Glen Beaty has come to a standstill. Beaty's recent videotaped arrest by Fresno Police sparked a city wide controversy. A judge suspended criminal proceedings against Beaty because his attorney has serious concerns about the man's mental health. One legal analyst believes this could have a major impact on future lawsuits the city may face.

Glen Beaty appeared in court for the second time. He showed no reaction as his attorney Peter Kapetan requested doctors to evaluate Beaty's mental health. Kapetan said, "A lot of these people like the homeless you see out there ... A lot of them may appear to understand what is going on but that no stretch of the imagination will give them a complete picture of their psychiatric condition."

Beaty's arrest sparked outrage. The video showed Fresno Police Officers repeatedly punching the man. He is now in court facing two probation violations. One involves threatening an officer four years ago. Kapetan says Beaty was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Now two doctors will evaluate him. They could decide he is incompetent and stop his criminal case from moving forward.

But Kapetan and another attorney are already taking the first steps to eventually sue the Fresno Police Department. ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi believes if doctors find Beaty incompetent, his civil case could be weakened. Capozzi said, "How is he really going to explain to the court what really happened then. The police officers ... Then their story will gain more credence because you have someone who is mentally ill and may not remember."

Kapetan said the civil case will move forward. But city leaders say the video may not tell the entire story. They have asked citizens to not rush to judgment until all the facts are known. Two doctors are expected to review Beaty. They will prepare reports and make recommendations in April. At this point, the DA's office has not filed any new charges against Beaty.

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