You may or may not remember the story of Raymond Sauceda; a man who died while in the custody of police in Pasadena, Texas. He was pulled over around 1am on March 24th, 2012. Then officers brought him to a nearby hospital to forcibly draw his blood for alcohol tests after he refused a field sobriety test. After the blood was drawn, police officers noticed that he was no longer breathing. That is where the mystery starts, and Raymond’s family and the Houston community want answers.
Sauceda’s wife called the police station several times that night after his friends notified her of his arrest. However, they repeatedly told her that he was not in the system.
He was dropping off a friend in front of his house when the arresting officer told the friend to go inside or he would arrest him too. The officer said that Sauceda’s eyes looked watery and he smelled like alcohol. Armando Florez, the friend that Sauceda was dropping off when he was arrested, said that Sauceda looked healthy when he left him outside that night. It was the last time he saw his friend alive.
Here’s where the story gets hairy. After Sauceda’s wife spent the entire night calling the police station, she got a visit from Pasadena police detectives Sunday morning at 8am. The detectives asked her if her husband had any markings on him, and she said no. The officers then informed her that he had lacerations on his ankles, wrists, back, and blunt force trauma to the head. She was shocked. Then they told her he was dead.
It is now August, and Raymond Sauceda’s family and the local community still don’t have any answers. How exactly did this man die? How did he receive blunt force trauma to the head, and how did the detectives know that he had? Was there an autopsy performed? These are all questions that both the victim’s family and the community want answered.
Yes it’s true that Raymond Sauceda had previously been convicted of DWI on two separate cases. However, previous convictions are no reason to sweep this issue under the carpet, nor are they justification for police brutality. With so many questions unanswered, it is premature to assume that the police officers who arrested him and transported him to the hospital were responsible for his death.
However, how else could he have received blunt force trauma to the head? He was not in a car accident, and did not get into a fight with any friends that night. Some time in between his arrest and death, Raymond Sauceda was assaulted. The responsible party or parties are as of yet unknown, but Pasadena’s Internal Affairs Division has been on the case since the incident in March.
Now it is August; we need answers. Houston injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys, ready your battle ships. Someone needs to help this family find out what really happened, and finally find peace for Raymond Sauceda’s family. It’s not going to be easy.