Grieving Chino Hills father seeks answers to daughter’s death after mental break, arrest

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When San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies responded to his hopeless 911 telephone for assistance with an out-of-control daughter, Sam Toghraie says helium warned them to “be careful” with her arsenic she was taken into custody. She was pregnant, schizophrenic and had stopped taking her mood-stabilizing medication.

Just minutes before, Casandra Pastora, 24, had punched him successful the face, chased him with a weapon into the backyard and past attacked and choked a neighbour erstwhile her begetter locked her retired of their Chino Hills house.

Deputy Daniel Renear told Toghraie his girl would beryllium taken to the West Valley Detention Center successful Rancho Cucamonga, and that helium request not worry.

“He said she was being taken to 1 of the champion places astir for radical with intelligence conditions,” Toghraie said successful a telephone interview. “He said it was a large place. He said they specialize successful radical with intelligence wellness conditions.”

Nine days later, Pastora was dead.

Toghraie said helium has been told 3 antithetic stories astir his daughter’s self-inflicted injuries that resulted successful her death. And helium inactive doesn’t cognize whether his girl was provided the due aesculapian attraction she intelligibly needed portion successful sheriff’s custody.

Now Toghraie has filed a national suit successful U.S. District Court successful Riverside alleging civilian rights violations, including inadequate conditions of confinement and denial of needed aesculapian attraction for his daughter. Named successful the suit, filed Aug. 19, are the county, erstwhile Sheriff John McMahon, existent Sheriff Shannon Dicus, who was appointed successful July, and Capt. Victor Moreno.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department did not respond to requests for accusation oregon comment.

  • Sam Toghraie holds a representation of his daughter, Casandra Pastora, astatine his location successful Chino Hills connected Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Toghraie’s large 24-year-old schizophrenic daughter, Casandra Pastora, suffered terrible encephalon injuries and died, aft being arrested and detained astatine the West Valley Detention Center successful Rancho Cucamonga. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Sam Toghraie holds a representation of his daughter, Casandra Pastora, astatine his location successful Chino Hills connected Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Toghraie’s large 24-year-old schizophrenic daughter, Casandra Pastora, suffered terrible encephalon injuries and died, aft being arrested and detained astatine the West Valley Detention Center successful Rancho Cucamonga. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Sam Toghraie holds a representation of his daughter, Casandra Pastora, astatine his location successful Chino Hills connected Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Toghraie’s large 24-year-old schizophrenic daughter, Casandra Pastora, suffered terrible encephalon injuries and died, aft being arrested and detained astatine the West Valley Detention Center successful Rancho Cucamonga. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Sam Toghraie holds a representation of his daughter, Casandra Pastora, astatine his location successful Chino Hills connected Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Toghraie’s large 24-year-old schizophrenic daughter, Casandra Pastora, suffered terrible encephalon injuries and died, aft being arrested and detained astatine the West Valley Detention Center successful Rancho Cucamonga. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

History of jailhouse problems

The suit underscores years of complaints and concerns by inmates and captive advocacy groups of alleged abuses astatine San Bernardino County jails, chiefly West Valley, implicit inadequate aesculapian and intelligence wellness attraction and excessive usage of force, the second of which prompted millions of dollars successful payouts by the region to settee lawsuits.

In February 2016, the Berkeley-based Prison Law Office filed a class-action lawsuit against San Bernardino County and its Sheriff’s Department seeking reforms successful region jails, particularly West Valley, which houses astir 3,000 inmates. It was 1 of several-class enactment lawsuits filed by the captive advocacy nonprofilt against counties crossed the state, including Riverside County.

“It’s a acquainted communicative successful San Bernardino and galore different jails passim the authorities and the country, unfortunately,” said Donald Specter, enforcement manager of the Prison Law Office. “Many of the jails that we dealt with, termination precautions were a large issue.”

In December 2018, the Sheriff’s Department agreed to settee the suit by agreeing to, among different things, prosecute 60 intelligence wellness professionals and to stem incidents of excessive usage of unit by deputies against inmates. The justice appointed an adept to show the concern and guarantee the Sheriff’s Department was complying.

“They made immoderate superior progress, but they inactive person immoderate things to fix, and aesculapian attraction is present much of a challenge,”  Specter said.

Father’s 911 call

Toghraie said the incidental astatine his Whistler Court location occurred during an statement with Pastora implicit not taking her medications. As helium told Renear, Pastora had been taking risperidone to dainty her schizophrenia on with different medicine to antagonistic the broadside effects of risperidone. She had precocious stopped taking her medicine retired of interest it would harm her unborn child.

“I recovered retired that she was large 2 weeks prior, but I didn’t cognize she was disconnected of her meds,” Toghraie said.

After assaulting Toghraie that day, Pastora attacked a neighbour who was a person of the family. The woman’s lad pulled her disconnected his mother.

When deputies arrived, Pastora was hunkered down connected the ground, eating dirt, Toghraie said. She was taken distant successful an ambulance and aboriginal booked into West Valley.

Injured successful jail

The pursuing day, Renear paid Toghraie different sojourn to archer him his girl had been placed into a padded cell, nude, but injured herself by punching and banging her caput against the compartment doorway model and had to beryllium taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center successful Fontana.

“They enactment her successful this alleged harmless country without restraints knowing it wasn’t safe,” said Toghraie’s attorney, Ed Lyman, with The Cochran Law Firm successful Los Angeles.

Toghraie said Renear told him aesculapian tests taken astatine the infirmary concluded Pastora — oregon Casi arsenic she was known — was 14 weeks pregnant, that the babe had a steadfast heartbeat and was fine.

Toghraie offered to supply the sanction of Pastora’s doctor, but helium said Renear declined. “He said they person aesculapian unit astatine the facility,” Toghraie said.

Two days later, connected March 16, a sheriff’s detective called Toghraie and delivered immoderate atrocious news: Pastora was backmost astatine Kaiser  aft a termination effort and had mislaid her baby. The detective told him Pastora had suffered from a “choking incident” and was successful captious but unchangeable condition. The detective had nary further information, Toghraie said.

In the dark

In the 5 days that followed, Toghraie said helium tried to get much accusation from the Sheriff’s Department astir his daughter, not knowing whether she was inactive hospitalized oregon backmost astatine the jail. He made telephone calls and adjacent drove to West Valley connected March 17 to effort and get accusation connected his daughter’s welfare, to nary avail.

On March 21, Toghraie went onto the sheriff’s inmate locator web leafage and entered his daughter’s information, and saw that she had been released from custody that day. The adjacent day, helium drove to Kaiser successful Fontana, wherever helium learned his girl had been the full week.

Doctors astatine Kaiser told Toghraie his girl suffered from wide encephalon harm and apt would ne'er recover. After moving different trial that confirmed arsenic much, Pastora was removed from a ventilator and declared dormant astatine 4:55 p.m. connected March 22, according to her decease certificate.

Still nary answers

More than 5 months aft the deaths of his girl and his unborn grandchild, Toghraie says authorities person inactive not provided him with immoderate accusation astir the circumstances surrounding her injuries oregon origin of death, contempt repeated requests. Pastora’s decease certificate inactive lists her origin of decease arsenic “pending.”

“As of today, the defendants garbage to supply Casi’s begetter with immoderate accusation concerning her arrest, her detention successful jail, her injuries, her aesculapian records, her autopsy, oregon adjacent a completed decease certificate,”  the suit states.

A caregiver astatine Kaiser Permanente, according to Toghraie, told him the deputies who brought Pastora to the infirmary initially gave 3 antithetic versions of what happened to her — that she choked connected something, that she tried smothering herself and that she tried hanging herself.

“I deliberation it speaks for itself they knew she was mentally ill. They knew she was pregnant. They knew she was withdrawing from her medicine and had aesculapian needs close past and there,” Lyman said. “They could person taken her to a hospital, but they instantly detained her. In that period, she mislaid her babe and she mislaid her life.”

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