Lawsuit: Redding police negligent in man's suicide

<p>Relatives of a man found hanging in his shed in April 2016 are accusing Redding police of negligence in a new lawsuit.</p>

News 12 Staff

Oct 27, 2017, 11:18 PM

Updated 2,399 days ago

Share:

Relatives of a man found hanging in his shed in April 2016 are accusing Redding police of negligence in a new lawsuit.
Lawyers for the family of Peter Valenti filed the suit in Danbury Court Tuesday against the Redding Police Department and Chief Doug Fuchs. The suit claims officers immediately assumed Valenti was dead instead of checking to see if he still had a pulse.
The suit also argues that Valenti warned his friends he planned to hang himself beforehand.
Valenti's family says video shows after police determined the hanging body was real, they did not check to see if he had a heartbeat.
"The lack of a medical response here to a victim in need of aid is so shocking that it's difficult to accept," says attorney Gayle Sullivan. "When someone is suffering a strangulation event of some kind, the first thing you do is relieve the compression on the neck. They didn't do that, and they didn't check him for a pulse."
The family claims that EMTs believe Valenti had a heartbeat until he got to Danbury Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Valenti's wife Paula died from an asthma attack four weeks before the hanging and the family believes he was unable to go on without her.
News 12 Connecticut was unable to reach Chief Doug Fuchs or any of the defense lawyers for comment.
The lawsuit relies on both testimony and police body camera video of the incident. 
"Holy (expletive)," an officer says in the video. "Look in there. There's a(n expletive) dummy."
Later, when an EMT arrived, Chief Fuchs allegedly told him it was a crime scene, and he was not allowed to check on Valenti.


More from News 12