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Widow of Man Who Died in LAPD Custody Sues City

Karla Barrera, wife of 50-year-old Mark Couturier, filed the complaint Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging wrongful death, negligence and assault and battery.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The widow of a man who died last year while in Los Angeles police custody after allegedly being shot with a stun gun is suing the city.

Karla Barrera, wife of 50-year-old Mark Couturier, filed the complaint Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging wrongful death, negligence and assault and battery. She seeks unspecified damages as well as compensation for funeral and burial costs.

An LAPD spokeswoman said today she was unaware of the suit and declined to comment.

According to the complaint, police were sent to Delancy Street Foundation at 400 N. Vermont Ave. on April 4 or April 5 of 2013. They restrained and detained Couturier "for reasons unknown" to Barrera, the suit states.

Couturier was struck by "multiple electric (stun gun) charges" that caused him to lose consciousness, the suit states.

The officers did not get him the rapid medical aid he needed and he later died, the suit states.

The complaint further states that Barrera's attorneys believe that the officers -- in order to make it appear their level of force was necessary -- allegedly made up false statements to "justify their wrongful conduct."

At the time of the incident, police said Couturier attempted to flee the scene, prompting an officer to use his stun gun.

The Delancy Street Foundation is a residential home for substance abusers, ex-convicts and the homeless, according to its website.

—City News Service



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