Attorneys for Stanislaus County want to see the mental health records of a locksmith who was slain alongside a deputy sheriff, in hopes of finding something to help defend a lawsuit brought by the locksmith’s family.
Glendon Engert, 35, was ambushed in April 2012 while attempting to disable a security door lock at a porch on Modesto’s Chrysler Drive as authorities served an eviction. He and Deputy Bob Paris, 53, were felled by assault rifle bullets fired from inside, sparking a lengthy standoff ending in an inferno and gunman Jim Ferrario’s suicide.
“The mental health records of (Engert) are relevant to the claims in this action and are reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,” reads the request, filed in federal court in Fresno. Sacramento attorneys hired by the county say they have “a compelling need” to see Engert’s records in the care of Modesto psychiatrist Stewart Quisling, and want a judge to force Quisling to turn them over.
Last year, the county’s attorneys, in another brief, blamed Engert for his death, saying he “acted in concert with (deputies) ... in total and utter disregard for the likelihood or probability that he might be injured.”
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Two formal investigations found fault with Paris and Deputy Mike Glinskas, who was not shot and who retired a few months ago, and with Sheriff’s Department officials for failing to take proper precautions. They were given a wealth of specific warning signs regarding the distraught shooter’s instability and military grade weapons, inspectors found.
The civil rights lawsuit, brought by Engert’s widow and parents, claims that the Sheriff’s Department owed better protection to Engert. It says he paused while disabling the lock because he heard sounds inside the fourplex; rather than having him retreat, deputies directed him to continue drilling the lock, and shots rang out seconds later, the document says.
A trial date is scheduled for August.