SONOMA COUNTY (KCBS) — Family members of a Sonoma County man say Sheriffs deputies unnecessarily escalated a standoff into a military-style siege that ended with his suicide last weekend.
Now they’ve filed suit, alleging 39-year-old Glenn Swindell was forced to kill himself rather than face a slaughter.
On May 17th of last year Swindell and his wife Sarah got into an argument. He locked her out of the house with his two kids inside.
Sonoma County Sheriffs deputies were called to quell the situation but family Attorney Arnoldo Casillas says things quickly went south, turning into an armed standoff. Even after the children were safely let go, Casillas says it was his belief that authorities on scene were bent on killing Swindell after they learned he had guns inside the home and had posted anti-police messages on his Facebook page.
“He ended up with a military style assault vehicle punching a hole into the structure of the house and pumping tear gas and pepper spray into a confined attic,” said Casillas.
He says Swindell, a law abiding citizen, chose to kill himself in that attic rather than face deputies he felt were going to do the same. It’s the basis of the civil rights lawsuit filed Friday morning alleging free speech, right to bear arms and home search violations.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s department declined to comment referring KCBS to the County Council’s office. Neither have responded.