Lawsuit: Deputies Beat Up, Pepper-Sprayed Couple at Redwood City Caltrain Station

Some San Mateo Sheriff's deputies used a little bit too much pepper, a lawsuit says.

By Chris Roberts
|  Friday, Dec 13, 2013  |  Updated 4:13 PM PDT
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A $1 million lawsuit has been filed against San Mateo County sheriff's deputies by a couple who says that deputies beat them up and pepper-sprayed them.

Jeremy and Denise Ford were boarding Caltrain at Redwood City on Dec. 15, 2011, at about 10 p.m., according to the Palo Alto Daily News.

Jeremy Ford held the closing door open for his wife so she could board -- and that's where the trouble started.

A Caltrain conductor told the couple that since they interfered with the doors, they delayed the train -- and had to get off.

The Fords, who are black, refused to get off the train, even when deputies tried to get them off. According to the lawsuit, a verbal argument with the deputies led to a physical fight.

According to a lawsuit filed against deputies Michael Baron and Irfan Zaidi -- as well as Sheriff Greg Munks -- by the office of John Burris, the deputies punched Jeremy Ford, threw him to the ground, and then pepper-sprayed him.

The deputies then pepper-sprayed Denise Ford for good measure, according to the Palo Alto Daily News.

Attorneys for the sheriff's deputies say that the couple were drinking, and that Jeremy Ford was hit and pepper-sprayed only after he tried to bite a deputy and grab his Taser, the newspaper reported.

They were both arrested and pleaded no contest to charges of resisting arrest, the newspaper reported.

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