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Mario is complaining about brutal arrest

By Rikke Schjtz Jensen

Got a shoulder injury from violent police officers

HORSENS A quite ordinary bus ride ended in November 2006 fatal for Mario Herrera Padron. He is American citizen, but moved to Copenhagen in 2005. Today he lives together with his wife, Gitte Toldsted, in Horsens. From their living room he tells in English about a random day, he ascended the bus in Copenhagen. - I did not know the price of the ticket and therefore asked the driver, who answered me in Danish, so I did not understand him, Mario Padron tells. Therefore he hitches up money from the pocket, so the driver could take the amount himself, and went down into the bus. - But the driver kept on pointing at me, and two other passengers also started to interfere, explains Mario Padron, who did not understand at all what the fuss was about. The driver drove to the side and wanted him to get out. Otherwise he threatened to call the police. - It was fine with me, because I had done nothing wrong.

Led away
He waited in the bus, until two police officers arrived and led him out. - I would like to have the name of the driver, but the police officers just waved at him to move on. On the other hand the officers wanted Marios name. He gave them the given name and asked to be taken to the police station to talk to their superior. - The one of them got angry and asked me in a hard tone of voice to take the hands out of the pockets. The atmosphere changed quick as lightning, and I did not understand, why they yelled at me, Mario Padron tells. He asked permission to call the American embassy. That only made the police officers laughs.

Hereafter the situation evolved quickly. The police officers arrested Mario, who was put down to the ground and held firmly. - It was very humiliating and violent. Therefore I among other things yelled Fuck you, he explains. With a jacket over the head he was thrown into a police car and taken to the police station.

- Here I was stripped, and the police officers among other things examined my genitals, while they were laughing at me, Mario Padron tells. Hereafter he was left in the cell with pains in his knee, the ribs and the shoulder from the arrest.

To the emergency doctor

Not until five hours later Mario Padron was allowed to call his wife. According to the police they could not get him a lawyer, so his papers was fixed without one, and he had taken his DNA, fingerprints and photo. After that he was released. Together with his wife he went directly to the emergency doctor. - I still do not understand what happened. I feel discriminated, because I do not believe, I did anything wrong, Mario Padron explains. The pains in the shoulder did not disappear. According a doctor statement Mario Padron has got permanent injuries from the arrest. Previous he has had hard physical work, but is now forced to get an office job. In the doctor statement his doctor among other things writes It is not realistic, that he in the future can stand hard physical work, neither after an operation. At the moment Mario Padron is an engineer student at Vitus Bering in Horsens. After the arrest he decided to complaint about the arrest. That made the police raises a case against him for threats against the police officers. Both the city court and the country court have found him guilty with a suspended sentence of 10 days in prison.

Neglected memorandum
Together with his defense lawyer Mario Padron has now send a complaint to the state attorney, who must decide, if there will be raised a case against the two police officers. For his support Mario Padron among other things has the statement from the doctor as well as a memorandum from the state attorney in Copenhagen, where it in black and white I saying, that the arrest rested on a fragile foundation and that the arrest itself was violent. This memorandum for unknown reasons never was presented during the two court cases, but did not turn up until Mario Padron and his wife asked for access to the documents. - I have not at any point felt guilty and I would not change anything about my behavior either, if I could today, Mario Padron emphasizes.

Defense lawyer: We have a god case

Ready for the Court of Human Rights
HORSENS Defense lawyer Jan Schneider back up Mario Padron's case 100 percent. - The arrest of Mario was totally out of proportions. He was arrested for not taking his hands out of the pocket. You should not have destroyed your shoulder and changed your working life for that, the lawyer makes clear.
He have said yes to take Mario Padron's case and is willing to go all the way. At the moment the state attorney, together with the Police Complaints Board, is looking at, if there shall be raised a case against the two police officers. - If the decision is not in our favor, I am ready to go to the Court of Human Rights with the case. Because it is evidently preposterous, what Mario has been submitted to, Jan Schneider emphasizes.

Important memorandum
According to him there are more factors supporting the case, among other things a memorandum from the state attorney in Copenhagen, which has not been presented during the two previous court cases against Mario Pardon. - The memorandum is the state attorneys words for, that the arrest is carried out on a too poor foundation, and that the arrest was to violent, the lawyer explains. In the memorandum it among other things says: The foundation for the arrest can seem fragile, as well as the way of the arrest () taking into account the (slight) gravity of the situation can seem to drastic. - This memorandum is very relevant in the case, and I have no explanation, why it has not been a part of the former cases, Jan Schneider tells.

Late indictment
Beyond that the lawyer believes, that it is suggestive, that there was not raised a case against his
client, until he complained about the police officers. - I have seen more times before, that if people complaints about the police, then they will themselves get a case on their neck, he says.

Jan Schneider expects to have the ruling from the state attorney within one or two months. (rsj)