A mentally disabled child named Yanira Serrano was out of control and wielding a knife, so the family called 911 for assistance. But instead of helping, the police deputies opened fire and killed her when it was believed the teenager was a threat.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, a teen who tortured an autistic boy was sentenced to only four years in a juvenile detention center. In an unrelated case, one father beat up a bully who had been picking on his autistic son.
The Serrano family says Yanira had started behaving erratically and was refusing to take the medications prescribed for her mental illnesses. The family tried calling 911 because, in the past, paramedics had been sent out to provide medical assistance and they believed the same would occur this time. Unfortunately, the resulting confrontation ended in the death of their girl.
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt claims deputy Menh Trieu was in a life-threatening situation within 20 seconds of arriving on the scene:
“We have deputies that were responding to the scene with the information that somebody was acting in a psychotic nature armed with a knife and won’t put it down even for her own family. This was an individual coming at our deputy with a knife intending to harm him. He should be allowed to protect himself otherwise we might be doing an interview about a deputy not going home to his family and kids.”
A teenage witness named Dyanna Ruiz said she saw the mentally disabled child Yanira Serrano chasing the police officer:
“I saw the girl running at him with something in her hands. I didn’t know what was happening. I was really scared about what to do.”
But the family does not believe lethal force was necessary. Saul Miramontes, Yanira’s cousin, says there were other ways the situation could have been handled:
“I don’t know why they couldn’t have done better things instead of getting a bullet through her and trying to shoot her. She was kind of sick — you know, at least they could have Tasered her or at least tackled her…. I just feel kind of sad. I feel mad. I don’t know why an officer would come and do that and try to kill my cousin. My cousin didn’t do nothing. For sure they could have Tasered her. They could have at least done something better.”
Brother Lorenzo Serrano also believes his sister felt threatened by the deputy and that’s why she behaved as she did.
Due to the shooting of the mentally disabled girl, officer Trieu has been placed on paid administrative leave while investigators from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office look into what happened.