5 years after SAPD vehicle hit and killed man, his family calls city’s settlement offer ‘insulting’

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Five years since a San Antonio man was hit and killed by a police patrol vehicle, his family is calling the city’s only offer so far to settle the wrongful death lawsuit “insulting.”

David Arredondo died May 11, 2018, while riding a bicycle around 11:35 p.m. in the 7400 block of Somerset Road, on the city’s Southwest Side.

An SAPD vehicle driven by Officer Isaac Botello was following another patrol vehicle to a noise complaint, when Arredondo rode into the intersection and collided with the front of Botello’s vehicle, court records and police dashboard camera footage show.

The officers did not have their patrol lights or sirens activated as they responded to what the court records describe as a “non-emergency call.”

Arredondo was thrown over the vehicle and struck a mailbox on the far side of the street, scene photos obtained by KSAT Investigates show.

His bicycle was thrown forward after the collision and badly bent, camera footage and scene photos show.

Arredondo, 69, who was pronounced dead at the scene, suffered catastrophic injuries including internal decapitation, a severed spinal cord, broken ribs and a broken leg and a lacerated aorta and liver, court records confirm.

Both of his kidneys were pushed into his abdominal cavity, the records show.

Thursday marks the fifth anniversary of Arredondo’s death.

“Our family is very upset at this time. We have questions that have gone unanswered after five years,” said Arredondo’s niece, Yvonne Gonzalez.

Lawsuit has languished in the courts
Arredondo’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of San Antonio in June 2019.

The city attorney’s office attempted to get the case dismissed, claiming it had not received formal notice of the suit.

The trial court and later the Fourth of Appeals denied the city’s motion.

The appeals court noted in its denial even though the crash and crime scene investigation reports did not indicate any fault by Botello, it does not negate evidence the city has that indicates Botello was not keeping a proper lookout at the time of the accident.

The city attorney’s office attempted to get a hearing on the suit before the Texas Supreme Court, but was denied, court records show.

Leslie Sachanowicz, an attorney representing Arredondo’s family, said he sent a preservation letter to determine how fast Botello was driving at the time of the crash, but has not yet been provided that information.

He said the assistant city attorney assigned to the case previously offered to settle it by having the city cover Arredondo’s funeral costs only.

“Note that I will not offer more than funeral expenses, which have already been on the table for some time now,” wrote assistant city attorney Judith Sanchez on October 1, 2021, in a scheduling email sent to Sachanowicz.

“To me, it’s not discouraging, but disgusting and shameful,” said Sachanowicz, who repeated claims from Gonzalez that the family believes the city is treating Arredondo like he was a “nobody.”

City officials declined a request from KSAT to be interviewed for this story, citing the ongoing litigation.

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