NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Five New Haven officers failed to intervene when a man was paralyzed while in police custody last summer, according to a newly released internal affairs report.
Richard “Randy” Cox was arrested last June. The report reveals that he was first taken to a police sub station in a cruiser, and then transferred to the back of a police transport van that did not have seatbelts. The van then took him to a detention facility.
During the ride, the van’s driver, Officer Oscar Diaz, stopped abruptly to avoid another car. Cox was slammed head-first into the metal partition. His injuries left him paralyzed from the chest down.
The internal affairs report outlines in detail what happened the day of his arrest and the actions taken by the officers involved.
The 70-page document obtained by News 8 includes the interactions Cox had with the officers, statements the officers made and a full account of what took place.
According to the report, Diaz did not tell Cox to hold on to the belt loops inside of the van. Diaz also appeared to be scrolling on his phone and texting. He pulled over to check on Cox, but didn’t call medical personnel to the scene.
Once at the detention facility, Diaz said that if Cox was hurt, he shouldn’t be moved, according to the report.
The actions of Sgt. Betsy Segui and officers Jocelyn Lavandier, Luis Rivera and Ronald Pressley are also included in the report. Lavendier stood outside the van and could smell an alcoholic beverage coming from inside. Rivers stepped into the van and called out that Cox appeared intoxicated. They moved him and placed him in a wheelchair because they thought he was under the influence, according to the report.
The report claims that the five officers failed to intervene while Cox was being dragged and recklessly handled.
New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson recommended earlier this week for Segui, Lavendier, Rivera and Diaz to be terminated form the department. Pressley retired in January, and therefore can’t be disciplined. Two additional officers will be disciplined internally.
The five officers have been on administrative leave since late June 2022. They have also been arrested and pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of second-degree reckless endangerment and cruelty to persons.
News 8 reached out to the officers’ attorneys for comment. Lawyers for Diaz and Segui said they are unable to comment because of pending litigation.