According to the San Diego Reader, the family of a man who died while in police custody in San Diego during an insomnia-related psychotic episode are filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to the complaint, filed in federal court on December 1, “Lucky” Phounsey had been battling a severe case of insomnia for several days before the April 2015 altercation with deputies. The insomnia resulted in auditory hallucinations and paranoia. Phounsey became convinced that people were going to harm him and his family. His family contacted doctors, who allegedly told them to buy over-the-counter sleep medications. The medications did not work. They then decided to call 911 in order to prevent Phounsey from any danger.
On April 13, 2015, sheriff’s deputies arrived at Phounsey’s Santee home, completely unprepared to deal with the situation, says the complaint.
“When San Diego Sheriff’s Deputies and, later, EMTs and paramedics arrived, they each demonstrated a lack of adequate training and understanding with regard to dealing with, and especially diffusing, [sic] individuals in the throes of a psychotic episode.