2013 police search leads to 2014 federal lawsuit

By From page A3 | February 15, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara and the county were sued this week in federal court in San Francisco by a Vallejo man who suffered a severe head injury while sheriff’s deputies and Vallejo police officers went through his Vallejo home.

Guillermo Solis, 56, a longtime custodian at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, was asleep at his Grant Street home on the afternoon of March 13, 2013, when sheriff’s deputies and Vallejo police smashed his front door with a battering ram, came in with guns drawn and rounded up and handcuffed several people, according to Solis’ lawsuit, which also names the Vallejo Police Department and its chief as defendants.

The cops were looking for Alejandro Guizar. They did not find him in the home because he did not live there. Guizar, who was on probation, lived in a separate attached residence that authorities had been to before and that could only be reached by going through the backyard and up a flight of stairs, the lawsuit states.

Authorities found Solis in his bed. They allegedly grabbed him, pulled him from his bed in his underwear, carried him to the living room and slammed him to the ground, where he hit his head on the floor before being handcuffed, his lawsuit states. After allegedly mocking Solis and accusing him of faking symptoms of injury, an ambulance was called and Solis ended up spending more than a week in the hospital for a brain injury, his lawsuit states.

Solis’ lawyers from the law firm of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook claim that Solis is the victim of assault, battery, false imprisonment and unjustified excessive force. They also claim Ferrara is responsible for the training and supervision of the deputies who Solis encountered.

Sheriff’s official do not respond to accusations raised in pending lawsuits.

No dates have been scheduled for any hearings in the lawsuit.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 8 comments

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  • The MisterFebruary 15, 2014 - 7:44 am

    The SO and the VPD need to suffer greatly in this. The cops that illegally assaulted the victim must be brought up on those charges of assault with great bodily harm. There is no excuse for cops and deputies to be allowed to act like this. Do you really think this was the first time they did? If the taxpayers are going to have to pay for the mistakes of thugs with badges, then I'd prefer to pay for their incarceration rather than to pay out for judgments for people they've assaulted. If the Police Chief and Sheriff don't arrest these thugs with badges and push hard for prosecution, then they are accomplices in the heinous crime and need to be prosecuted too. Come on, DA, do your job! Let's watch this closely, people. We may have to sweep out a lot of this "protect our own" mentality next election... and the election after that, etc. Thugs with badges are still thugs!!

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  • George Guynn, JrFebruary 15, 2014 - 8:57 am

    The Mister, I totally agree with your comments above. It is way passed time to stop the abuses from thugs with badges to the public. Those with badges must be held accountable and need to pay out of their own assets, instead of the taxpayers!

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  • Legend1949February 15, 2014 - 8:59 am

    Nice comments considering you are reading them in a news paper and weren't there to see what happened, not to mention some of the comments in the paper are coming from a lawyer that learned to lie in "stretch the truth 101" I hope you don't need an officer to help you and you open your mouth with that dribble

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  • archieFebruary 15, 2014 - 5:09 pm

    I agree Legend.

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  • JBFebruary 15, 2014 - 9:00 am

    I guess you were there when it happened Mister. You read the police report and saw the evidence collected. Oh wait this is only one side of the story and you take such a stand. I would not want you on my jury.h

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  • StreetwiseFebruary 15, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    JB did you read the article? Sounds like these Barney Fife’s knew Guizar lived in the different attached residence and still raided the wrong place. Sent this innocent person to the hospital (I say innocent because it doesn't say he was charged or arrested). Sounds like these agencies will be breaking out the tax payer check book to me. No wonder patrol cars no longer have "To serve & protect" on them.

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  • JusticeFebruary 15, 2014 - 9:11 am

    Thomas Ferrera must go. We need someone who has law enforcement experience to lead this department. Not even his correctional officers are endorcing him. He promotes deputies who are so incompetent. Even when a judge found John Arabia guilty of perjury there were no consequences. The messages he sends is do what you want, just endorce me for sheriff. He's an Isleton PD reject. And look at the Dr. Hogan fiasco. The last two pathologists working for the sheriff came from forensic medical group. both caused nothing but problems after it was learned they were both incompetent and both lied in court. So what does Ferrera do, replaces the pathologist with someone from forensic medical group. This guy is insane and costing the public nothing but money. Do not re-elect Thomas Ferrera for sheriff.

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  • Rich GiddensFebruary 15, 2014 - 11:07 am

    The man's medical damages come from the Sheriff's deeds. The victim of the sheriff has bills that must be paid but not from the taxpayers---it should be from the pockets of the Sheriff and his thugs.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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