Murder suspect sues Davis County, alleging police brutality, religious discrimination
FARMINGTON — An Ogden man awaiting trial in a Layton drug robbery and fatal shooting has sued Davis County, alleging police brutality, withheld medical care and infringed religious freedom.
Angel Christopher Abreu filed a civil suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City against the county and the sheriff’s office. The 25-year-old is charged with aggravated murder, burglary and kidnapping in the Sept. 27, 2018, shooting of Anthony Child, 26.
The handwritten complaint, to be heard by Judge Robert Shelby, accuses the county of civil rights violations stemming from a Sept. 26, 2020, incident in the county jail. He said corrections deputies entered his cell and told him to submit to handcuffing to be moved to a disciplinary housing unit.
“I expressed my frustration about how I have been constantly profiled and harassed at this jail,” Abreu wrote, adding that he refused to “cuff up.” He said deputies came back later, some in riot gear. He alleged his face was slammed into the bottom bunk and a deputy pinned his neck with a knee as others cuffed his hands and shackled his feet.
Abreu said he felt “an intense burning pain” in his abdomen and began bleeding. He said he passed out and woke up in an ambulance. He said a scan found “a folded paper and a ring inside of me,” but no contraband.
He said deputies suspected him of conspiring to introduce contraband into the jail and he consequently received disciplinary actions.
Angel Christopher Abreu
He alleged the handcuffing caused ongoing numbness in his hands and pain in his shoulder and that the jail doctor did not provide adequate treatment, telling him he just needed time to heal.
Further, Abreu said corrections officers “refused to accept my religion as Islam” and did not fulfill his requests for a prayer rug, a Quran or a halal diet.
Asked for a response to the suit, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office said in a prepared statement the county has not been served with the complaint and “has no further comment regarding this legal action at this time.”
Abreu was one of three charged in the drug robbery at a Layton mobile home park. The other two agreed to plea bargains. Police and prosecutors allege Abreu was the triggerman. His attorneys have presented a partial self-defense argument, contending Abreu fired only after feeling threatened.
His trial is scheduled to begin April 29, 2022. He has been held in the Davis jail since his arrest.