SAN ANTONIO, TX — Famed countrywide civil legal rights attorney Ben Crump has connected himself to the circumstance of a Midland gentleman who died in a Texas jail although on holiday.
Daniel J. Pentkowski, 53, died in the Bexar County Jail in San Antonio the early morning of Jan. 25, two times just after his arrest. Pentkowski was the second inmate to die in the jail in 2023, and at minimum the 10th to die in the facility in the final year.
Considering that Pentkowski’s loss of life, authorities have been tight-lipped on what the ensuing investigation has so significantly yielded.
On March 10, the Bexar County Commissioners Courtroom obtained a letter of illustration from the regulation company of McCathern, Shokouhi, Evans, & Grinke PLLC stating they and Ben Crump Legislation PPLC have been retained by Pentkowski’s brother and two sisters in all matters relating Pentkowski’s arrest and loss of life.
McCathern, Shokouhi, Evans, & Grinke has places of work in Los Angeles and a few in Texas, exclusively in Dallas, Houston, and Frisco. Crump’s agency has offices in Texas, California, Georgia, Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Crump has represented the family members of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin. In Michigan, Crump has represented the family of Patrick Lyoya, a 26-12 months-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who on April 4, 2022, was shot and killed by Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr. Schurr has given that been billed with second-diploma murder.
The letter to the Bexar County Commissioners Court states it was delivered “in anticipation of litigation and demands your immediate attention to preserving all bodily and electronically stored data that may possibly include or direct to the discovery of proof related to the incident.”
The letter went on to condition it is not supposed to provide as a official observe underneath the Texas Tort Statements Act, which determines when a town or other governmental entity may possibly be liable for accidents or intentional functions that cause house damage or individual harm.
MLive has submitted quite a few Independence of Data Act requests to Bexar County and San Antonio authorities, searching for police reviews, video clip footage from officers’ overall body-worn cameras, and autopsy effects.
The sheriff’s place of work on Feb. 10 denied the request, stating the report “is not readily available for launch at this time because of to the scenario however staying open.” 4 times later, San Antonio Metropolis Lawyer James Kopp wrote a letter to the Texas Legal professional General’s Business office objecting to the records’ release.
“The requested data is associated to a shut prison investigation,” Kopp wrote. “The investigation did not outcome in a conviction or deferred adjudication. The metropolis thinks, then, that the requested information is excepted from essential disclosure.”
In section, Kopp asked for the overall body-worn camera footage not be unveiled as a part of the Texas Occupation Codes states “a law enforcement agency may well not launch any portion of a recording made in a non-public space…without composed authorization from the particular person who is the issue of that portion of the recording or, if the particular person is deceased, from the person’s licensed consultant.”
MLive contacted Kopp by mobile phone on Feb. 24 and he agreed to question the San Antonio Police Division to present the standard law enforcement report on Pentkowski’s arrest, which the company did the identical working day.
The report states that about 9 a.m. on Jan. 23, an officer was dispatched a dwelling after getting stories of a suspicious individual. As the officer neared the scene, neighbors flagged him down to say there was an intoxicated man at the household.
Pentkowski was standing exterior the home and walked to a sidewalk, in which he confronted the officer, the report states. The officer requested Pentkowski, who smelled of intoxicants, for his determining facts.
When Pentkowski attained for his wallet, a .25-caliber magazine fell from his pocket, the report states. The officer told Pentkowski to set his hands on a motor vehicle so he could be patted down for weapons.
Pentkowski advised the officer he experienced two knives on him. The officer tried using detaining Pentkowski, at which issue he “became irate, turned all-around and started off resisting the detention,” the report states.
Pentkowski and the officer went to the floor. Pentkowski then threatened to destroy the officer and “started screaming for officers to kill him,” the report states.
A further officer arrived and collectively they arrested Pentkowski “for staying intoxicated in a public area, resisting arrest, and for retaliation for making the threats from an officer who is striving to impact an arrest,” the report states.
As officers searched Pentkowski, he intentionally banged his head on the hood of a car or truck and pushed from the officers, they wrote in their report.
Law enforcement spoke with two of Pentkowski’s sisters, who stated they were being in San Antonio on holiday vacation from Michigan. They explained Pentkowski had been consuming alcoholic beverages the prior night time. When they awoke that morning, they noticed their brother ingesting around 7 a.m., the report states.
Officers observed a “large amount” of hard cash on Pentkowski, which they gave to just one of his sisters.
As an officer searched Pentkowski, his human body-worn digicam was unintentionally muted, the officer wrote. He included he corrected the environment times afterwards.
Pentkowski’s problem was described as great when booked into the Bexar County Jail. He was booked on a demand of retaliation, a 3rd-degree felony, with his bond established at $7,500.
On March 17, Bexar County responded to yet another FOIA request for Pentkowski’s autopsy report.
“We gained your request for Healthcare Examiner Data even so, there are no documents responsive to your ask for at this time,” the county replied.
No obituary for Pentkowski has been revealed and funeral arrangements have still to be declared. MLive has been not able to get any relations to discuss on the report.
Crump and Paul A. Grinke, running companion of McCathern, Shokouhi, Evans, & Grinke PLLC, have not responded to calls and e-mail from MLive trying to get comment.
Pentkowski experienced a love for the outdoors, landscaping, trucks and rapidly vehicles and often visited spot casinos, Steeg and fellow friend Jessica Yurgaites have reported.
“You could contact him out of the blue and he’d go, ‘Oh yeah, guaranteed, I’ll appear support you,’” Yurgaites claimed. “He was a good man. He was very tranquil and a truly awesome, hardworking fellow.”
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