A Hanford police report says Michael Valdez was riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the street when officer Larry Leeds attempted to stop him.
What happened next is the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit in which Valdez, 49, and his attorney, Morgan Ricketts, accuse Leeds of using excessive force to arrest Valdez, actions that they say contributed to blinding him in one eye.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno last week, says Leeds used his patrol car to knock Valdez off his bicycle. The officer then punched Valdez several times in the face and The lawsuit accuses jail staff of repeatedly denying Valdez’s request for medical help, causing him to be permanently blind in his right eye. It also alleges that the Hanford Police Department and Kings County Jail destroyed evidence.