Deputy Pepper Sprays, Detains Man with Down Syndrome

(CNN) — His eyes stinging with pepper spray, a developmentally disabled 21-year-old man was hit and forced to the ground before being taken into custody by California sheriff’s deputies in an incident that left his family Thursday demanding justice.

Antonio Martinez was taken to a hospital and detained for possible obstruction of justice, but there was no citation or charge filed on that or other counts, said San Diego County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell.

His father is considering suing the department and the city of Vista, California, the young man’s sister, Jessica Martinez, said.

“But really, all we want is for the sheriff’s deputy who did this to my brother to get fired,” Jessica Martinez, 20, said. “That’s all we want. We want justice.”

The incident occurred Tuesday evening in Vista, where sheriff’s deputies were looking into a domestic violence incident, Caldwell said.

One of them saw Martinez cover his head with his hood and, believing he might be involved in the incident, tried to talk with him, said the spokeswoman. The 21-year-old — who weighs 158 pounds and stands 4 feet, 11 inches tall, according to a Sheriff’s Department document — didn’t respond to the commands, she added.

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