JOSHUA TREE — A former inmate at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department jail in Joshua Tree is suing the county and local deputies after a week in custody left him in a medical crisis that he says caused him to lose both legs and a hand.

Perry Belden, 28, of Twentynine Palms, got into a physical fight with his stepfather on March 16, 2018. His mother, Robin Olds, who is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, called the Sheriff’s Department.

Belden, who had previous convictions for grand theft and obstructing an officer, fled the scene and spent the next 10 days sleeping at friends’ houses or on the street. Olds said in her complaint that during that time, deputies got a warrant for Belden’s arrest and went to her house twice a day looking for him.

Belden decided to surrender to deputies on March 27, 2018, and Olds told deputies where he was staying. Olds alleges at least a dozen deputies responded to the location armed with assault rifles. Frightened, she said, Belden shut the front door and hid in the attic,” the complaint reads.

After deputies deployed pepper spray into the attic, Belden fell through the ceiling. Belden alleges he was shot with a stun gun twice immediately after his fall.

Belden was arrested and taken to the Hi-Desert Medical Center for clearance. He had several abrasions from the fall. Belden was also an admitted heroin addict and was prescribed Klonopin to prevent withdrawal-induced seizures. The lawsuit alleges the jail personnel were given strict instructions to take Belden’s vital signs every day.

He was transported on the same day to the Morongo Basin jail — which is not equipped with medical staff, a medical facility or other health services.

Records indicated that Belden did not get any medication while detained in the Morongo Basin jail.

Two days later, he was taken to the courthouse for an arraignment hearing. The lawsuit states he recalls telling deputies that something was wrong and he was really sick. Belden said deputies dismissed his concerns, saying, “That’s what happens when you’re a crackhead.”

He was transported to the West Valley Detention Center and then back to the Morongo Basin holding cell for further hearings. He appeared in court on April 2 and took a plea deal that came with a two-year prison term.

“Perry took the first plea deal offered to him because he wanted to get out of local custody,” Belden’s lawyers said in the official complaint.

He was transferred back to the West Valley Detention Center on April 3. The next morning, staff there took his blood pressure. It read 145/98 (normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80). He was transported to the Arrowhead Medical Center three hours later in critical condition.

Hospital record indicate Belden was experiencing septic shock and renal failure; his skin was mottling, his heart rate was high and he was having difficulty breathing. Doctors were able to save his life, but they had to amputate his legs and left hand. His right hand was also deformed and he had to remain in the hospital for approximately six months.

“For a simple family squabble to end up with Perry like this is just so awful,” said one of Belden’s attorneys, Sharon Brunner.

Brunner met Belden’s mother at a protest outside of the Joshua Tree Superior Courthouse demanding better condition for inmates.

“She talked to me about how her son was hurt while in custody,” Brunner said. “We have been making it our life mission to improve jail conditions in San Bernardino County.”

Brunner and a team of lawyers took on Belden’s and Olds’ case.

San Bernardino County is no stranger to these lawsuits. During the same month that Belden was charged for his crimes, Prison Law Office, a firm that monitors incarceration throughout the country, settled a class action lawsuit against San Bernardino County.

The lawsuit named two prisoners. One, Zachary Shovey, has serious psychiatric disorders, but deputies at the county jail failed to provide him with treatment and medications for a year despite symptoms including hallucinations, the complaint stated.

The second prisoner, George Topete, said he needs to use a cane, but the county denied him his cane for months at a time. At one point he was provided with a wheelchair, but he could not use it because he was not in an area with wheelchair access.

The Prison Law Office sued saying the two prisoners’ experiences were part of a pattern of abuse and neglect.

Court records indicate that the county of San Bernardino was served on Belden’s case on May 24. The county attorneys’ response is due to the court on June 14.

(26) comments

BBB

There goes a few million.

don mckinney

serious changes need to occur in the entire militarized , fear based mentality of the enforcers . they have a difficult job , but become desensitized and cruel . their job is to criminalize you . they come from an " order follower " mentality of them versus us that leads to this fear based over reaction for their safety . There are no road side bombs , yet our police have 700 military assault vehicles we bought for the troops at a million dollars each that are mine resistant , with machine gun turrets , 38,000 lbs . The police were given them out of ft. Bliss texas . Drove them back like the Banning police blew a 2,000 dollar tire on the free way , took out a new truck . No insurance or license to drive it and no prior notification to the public or general fund use of money . No one has a license , No insurance , no one is going to get in it for a road side bomb attack . Why don't they sell them ? Why did they get them ? Why are they so afraid ? More people die in swimming pools than are shot . Terrorism myth is terrorism . We have 900 military bases in 200 countries . Why is this socialism , communism , fascism so rampant ? What is the most deadly addiction ? religion , then money . All roads lead to Rome . Your silence is your consent . Have a nice day .

don mckinney

This man got off lucky compared to others . Policeman Dorner was burned alive in Big Bear after he was surrounded in a house . He shot him self rather than being burned alive . This was deemed acceptable . I was a witness to an assault driving by in Yucca Valley , and threatened by the attacker . As I told my account of the events , I quickly realized I was more at risk from the two armed officers than their attacker who they allowed to go free . I thought I was helping an older man with a sign from a military / police type appearing larger bully who threatened to " hunt me down and knock my teeth out " when I shouted to distract him from causing more harm . I made myself immediately available to him and then the police showed up . Good thing for him . The police let him go free as if it were their agenda . I quickly realized I was at more risk from the officers than the designated attacker . Later I realized the older man had a sign that said " christians are terrorists " . This blatant display of free speech was not only violated physically , but aided by the local sheriffs . After talking to a few business operators in the area about this incident I found out they wanted to assault the older man themselves . With this and the acceptable never ending wars of aggression , 44,000 drone bombing last year alone , and 22 veteran suicides per day , and 114 opiate overdoses a day since 16 years of war for global corporations based on the 9/11 lies and cover up , 3,000 cities in america with worst lead levels in their drinking water than Flint , Michigan , I think the older man with the " religions are terrorists " sign may have a legitimate topic for discussion . Too bad free speech is illegal in the UNITED STATES CORPORATION COMPANY , currently under marshall law , the patriot act , and national defense authorization act and a reporter of these types of events is in jail forever being tortured , JULIAN ASSANGE . Free Julian Assange , reporter of war crime murders of other reporters and civilians and helped expose Hillary so Trump could be elected . Kill the Messenger ? Where did First Amendment free speech go ? This is not spam as censored attempt

don mckinney

This would be the appropriate time to mention that this man is a symptom of the disease . That be that 90 per cent of the worlds opium comes from Afhganastan only after we invaded that country based on the 9/11 and WMD lies to war . Prior to that time the Taliban had all but eradicated those crops . Our military guards those crops today . Our heroin epidemic is a direct result of this situation . It makes money for law enforcement and our criminal industrial corporate complex . As well as the actual street sales value being lowest ever due to the over supply . Meanwhile the real people in pain , including blown up service people need this medication and as a result of it's misuse are in jeopardy of losing availability . How does the street heroin become so available here from all the way from the middle east during the seven plus ongoing wars of aggression ? Why are our police so militarized and so afraid for themselves ? Fight or flight , brain stem only activity leaves the right side creativity and compassion side of the brain as well as the technical left side to atrophy leaving the moral compass of knowing and acting on " right and wrong " , " do no harm " principles to atrophy perhaps to such a degree as to create an environment that is counter productive to the community that may have been . Sad , when wars of aggression , globally and domestically are accepted in a supposed religious region .

Dadof4

It's easy folks, don't do crime, you don't have to worry about going to jail.

BBB

Just hope one of your little angels doesn't run afoul of the law.

joetheplumber

This is tragic, and I don't mean to sound insensitive, but this was avoidable if this guy had simply taken responsibility for his actions. He shouldn't have fled the scene in the first place, stuff happens, stick around and deal with it. He chose to use heroin, which by the way is illegal, and this is why his body is in such poor shape. Lack of medical attention may have contributed to his down fall, but he himself was the major contributor. Sour grapes!

booboo77

The JT jail is the dirty secret within this so-called "enlightened community" of progressive thinkers. People die in that place on a regular basis and no one has ever been held responsible. Jailers have had sex with inmates and never faced any charges- just dismissals. It's a humiliating and dehumanizing experience just being in there. Stale bread and green baloney with orange-aid is your basic source of nutrition. Try that for 6 months. The cell toilet faces all the prisoners like like some sicko stage- it's designed to embarrass anyone needing to use it. There's NOTHING to do in there at all. No games, no TV- prisoners in for non-violent petty crimes are mixed in with hard core meth addicts and violent felons. Cold? You have to ASK for a blanket! No medical facilities? Is that supposed to be a joke? The jail is a mere fifty yards from the only hospital within 30 miles! Prisoners are routinely taken there for treatment. I don't blame all the cops either. Most of the Sheriff's department is staffed by good people trying their best to protect and serve. But there's always some that lack basic humanity. The JT lock-up is nasty and dangerous and should probably be demolished and replaced with a modern facility that doesn't leave inmates at the whims and mercy of uncaring dungeon keepers who dole out punishments by ignoring medical conditions. And guess what? Addiction is a disease- not a criminal offense. If every "crack head" is going to be written off as just another dirt bag unworthy of any helpful assistance, why did they spend a fortune on a "mental health" facility just down the road. I've never seen more that three cars parked there since it "opened". Such a sickening story.

CookieG

Got that jail experience down pat I assume?

joetheplumber

Addiction is a criminal offense. Illegal drug use doesn't become legal as soon as you become addicted. Addiction is NOT A DISEASE... Cancer is a disease; addiction may lead to self induced brain damage, but in itself is not a disease. Ask anyone who has cancer if they want a cure; all they have to do is go to rehab. It's not like you went to the doctor one day and he said "I have some bad news, you have a disease called drug addiction". People make a conscious choice to use drugs and get addicted. Your choice, your consequences. Jail is supposed to be a deterrent, break the law, go to jail. Jail is a punishment for breaking the law. Unfortunately it's all of our problem. We have to live with this "disease on society". We have to look over our shoulder, we have to suffer with the crime, the cost, the filth of the homeless camps. Grow up, clean up, get a job, stop whining poor me. Addiction sucks, jail sucks, who are you trying to blame?

Dadof4

BBB, they won't, the were taught to obey the law, and understand that. BooBoo, it is very easy to stay out of jail, obey the law, and don't get arrested. I'm in my 6th decade, never even seen the inside of a jail. It is so easy, obey the law. How hard is that?

booboo77

"Cookie"- I have my sources. "Plumber"- Addiction IS a disease, and if you want to believe otherwise go ahead- but a disease is something that grabs you and doesn't let go without a cage fight, whether it's cancer or crack. Ollie North flooded the USA with tons of coke back in the 80's, trading guns to cartel-backed "freedom fighters" in Nicaragua. Is he in jail? No- he was elected head of the NRA! And he was the Typhoid Mary that helped spread the epidemic! You are totally out of step with most doctors and scientists. ONE TOKE of crack or ice can hook you for life- it's the most potent addictive poison in the history of mankind. Are crack heads flooding the nation with tons of white death? He doesn't have two nickels to rub together let alone import endless tons of dope. Hard drugs have been part of ghetto pacification programs for decades. They're basically ALLOWED to flourish to keep dissatisfaction at bay. Wake up.

booboo77

ps- A lot of these comments would have been right at home in Salem Mass. in the 17th century.

joetheplumber

People quit using drugs every day, you can do it too, and people start every day. Both the quitters and the starters make a decision to do it. You can't catch it on a toilet seat but clinically it has to be approached, and treated, like a disease; but that doesn’t make it an actual disease. Anyone who uses this cop-out probably thinks it’s not fair when only the winners get a trophy. Losers deserve a trophy too. It's mostly a disease on society, the addict is a zombie that the normal people need to be very afraid of. Murder, carjacking, home invasion, all liken to an insatiable thirst for blood that the zombie will stop at nothing to get. So yes, a self-inflected disease, so to speak. First of all, it's against the law for a reason, second, the people that choose to do it regardless of the law, and the pre-existing knowledge of its addictive nature, simply choose to do it. Let’s give them a trophy, hooray, thanks for destroying our society. No one wants to clean up the junkies up more than the clean, hard working, honest, moral, productive, law abiding, members of society. Even criminals deserve dignity in jail, decent food, cleanliness, health care, but if the conditions that you describe at the Joshua Tree jail are as bad as you say they are, then anyone who’s been there more than one time deserves it. Sour grapes.

booboo77

Are Tobacco addicts criminals too? Nicotine addiction is one of the leading causes of disease and death on the planet, yet it's been defined as a mere "vice" and not a crime. Why? Because governments make a fortune in taxes from it even though it's deadly effects are well known and cost taxpayers billions in health costs. The tax on alcohol was the biggest income source for Uncle Sam until prohibition. They had to invent the I.R.S. to make up for it. Yet alcoholism still remains a major problem nationwide. Are drunks all criminals too? It really doesn't ethically matter if an addictive substance is legal or not- it's still dangerous. Mixing politics and "law & order" rhetoric into the discussion leads nowhere. Addiction is so out of control these days that possession of crack and a pipe just means their confiscation- the jails are overflowing with real criminals and there's so many addicts that it seems almost normal to law enforcement. Obviously the worn-out tactics of the so-called "Drug War" have failed miserably and a new approach is needed. Even many Presidential candidates are saying the same thing. Doing crack or ice is a very bad decision, and can turn you into a living Zombie within days. stay away!

joetheplumber

Alcoholics are very often criminals. There are seven alcohol related deaths for every one gun death. They commit murder every day. Sever alcoholics are unemployable and need to resort to crime to support their habit. Tobacco use doesn't lead to crime but it's defiantly a huge burden on the public. Health care costs for smokers costs tax payers billions of dollars every year, and there are innocent victims of second hand smoke. The war on drugs is a joke, as long as there's a demand there will be a supply. Addicts have my deepest sympathy, but they're dangerous to all of us and only they can make it go away and they have to want it bad enough to make it happen

Branson Hunter

The law and order of drugs is exemplified by the complete and pathetic failure of the war on drugs. Yes addiction is addiction. Depression leads to addiction. Poverty leads to addiction. Failing health leads to addiction. Separation and alienation leads to addiction. Addiction is a by-product... .

joetheplumber

I agree with you and I never meant to suggest that it's easy to quit or that there's an easy solution to the addiction epidemic. Meth, crack, and heroin, are poisons that are extremely destructive not only to the user but to the entire community. It's everybody's problem and it's difficult to get the support of the people who are keeping it clean. The bottom line on this discussing is the condition of the jail, which apparently is appalling, and to say 'don't do the crime if you can't do the time' isn't really fair. The "time" has to be humane. Maybe you should write a letter to Sheriff McMahon and copy it to the CA Highway Patrol, (who I believe shares the jail?), also to the Jail Keeper, and a few news agencies. I do my part by keeping clean, donating to the thrift stores, and giving food to the homeless and hungry. It's up to the user to do their part, the hard part. Good luck on drawing attention to the jail and making some changes.

Branson Hunter

Thanks JoeTP. Outstanding comments.

joetheplumber

Thanks Branson, it's just a darn shame that it's such a sensitive subject. Regardless of what side of the fence anyone is on as to how to deal with it, I'm sure that we all the the best interests of the community at heart. To anyone who ever ends up in jail, for whatever path that lead you there, please, get well soon.

booboo77

The 10th leading cause of death in the USA for people under 50 is SUICIDE. Depression is a disease too!

booboo77

The biggest problem with alcoholics is that way too many of them drive cars.

booboo77

Sorry- Killing yourself is the SECOND biggest cause of death for under 50. Overdoses are right up there too. Thank Johnson & Johnson and their minions in the medical world for that.

CookieG

Personally I would love to sit in the courtroom and hear the complete story. Hopefully it will go to court.

don mckinney

Before The U.S. military invaded Afghanastan over the 9/11 inside job , the Taliban had the opium fields almost eradicated . Today 90 per cent of the WORLDS opium comes from the U.S. military protected crops there . The very prevalent heroin on U.S. streets is so common that it is cheaper than the pill form . Medical issues lead to opium addiction and those in need should not be punished , but helped . The damage to the community is over ridden by the money our government makes in ALLOWING the drug proliferation as BooBoo accurately describes . Under employment during inflation are root causes of depression . PTSD from committing genocide as a job leads to addiction and a broken soul . The public preferring foreigners to perform work raises home prices and leads to a deterioration of the fabric of the community as well . War glorification as an acceptable social narrative leads to more wars of aggression and PTSD related addiction . 22 veteran suicides per day and 114 opioid overdose related deaths per day leaves one to wonder why does the community ignore this situation ? Why is everyone okay with these illegal wars ongoing for 18 plus years based on lies to fortify Israel , why we have 3,000 cities with worse lead levels in their drinking water than Flint , Michigan ? While giving 8.6 billion dollars a year to one foreign favorite government ? These are but a few root causes of the disease that addiction is a symptom of . See the " opium wars " where the U.K. and the U.S. forced opium on China over a four year bombardment of China with bombs . the U.S. dropped 44,000 bombs last year alone . Why do you NOT know this ? you relied on T.V. for the news . Seven wars plus Venezuela and Iran ? One totally sick society . Your silence is your consent to the killing innocent families for a global cartel . Not the American myth of bygone days , since the act of 1871 . You get what you pay for , 900 military bases in 200 countries . Socialism , communism mercenary industrial genocide complex . this is not spam but a public service announcement this venue may censor as reality based information .

don mckinney

joetheplumber see Kyle Hunt heckstorm documentary. com / watch / public service announcement , not spam , no dirty words , it is a film

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