Home Antioch DA Report: No Evidence of Criminal Offense in Death of Angelo Quinto

DA Report: No Evidence of Criminal Offense in Death of Angelo Quinto

Press Release

by ECT
District Attorney

Martinez, Calif. – The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office concludes there is no evidence of criminal offense by Antioch Police officers in the death of 30-year-old Angelo Voithugo Quinto.

The District Attorney’s Office released a Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incident (LEIFI) report today as part of Contra Costa County’s protocol to investigate incidents when officers or civilians are shot or die during an encounter with law enforcement. The report is available on the District Attorney’s website.

The purpose of the report is to independently determine criminal liability in fatal incidents when law enforcement is involved. During a criminal trial, the District Attorney’s Office – which represents The People of the State of California — has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a death was not justified.

Part of the LEIFI report contains a legal analysis of the evidence in the death of Quinto. That analysis determined the Antioch Police officers engaged with Quinto in a manner that was lawful and objectively reasonable under the circumstances. Moreover, the report notes that the officers utilized reasonable force during their contact with Quinto [PC 835a(a)(3)].

The circumstances surrounding this incident were initiated with a 911 call from Angelo Quinto’s sister on December 23, 2020, at around 11:10 pm. Quinto’s sister wanted law enforcement’s help after Quinto was being erratic, physically aggressive, and harming his mother. Quinto’s mother could be heard in the background of the call saying “I can’t breathe. Stop it.” while Quinto’s sister told the 911 operator that he was strangling Mrs. Quinto.

Antioch Police officers arrived about a minute later. They were met by Quinto’s sister, who was clutching a hammer to protect herself from her brother. Officers heard a commotion coming from Quinto’s bedroom. When they entered the room, they saw Quinto’s mother struggling with him in a bearhug hold on the ground. Officers separated the two. One officer kneeled and placed one knee on Quinto’s shoulder to handcuff him while the other held onto his legs. This was the extent of force utilized by the two officers to restrain Quinto, and to prevent him from harming himself, family members, or the officers.

Police told Mrs. Quinto that her son was not under arrest. Rather, emergency responders were on their way to transport him to a hospital for any physical injuries. He would also receive a mental health evaluation while being treated at the medical facility. While one officer went to his patrol vehicle to get the needed paperwork, emergency medical crews arrived on the scene. They rolled Angelo over and noticed he was unconscious, his face was purple in color, and there was blood on the floor and his face. The officers did not strike Quinto in any way, and the autopsy revealed bite marks to Quinto’s inner cheek and tongue. Life-saving measures were administered, and Quinto was transported to a hospital in Antioch — where he died on December 26th.

An autopsy was performed on December 28th by the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office. The cause of death was Excited Delirium Syndrome due to drug intoxication, psychiatric conditions, physical exertion, and cardiac arrest.

A toxicology report by the Coroner’s Office showed that Angelo Quinto had the presence of caffeine, Levetriacetam (a therapeutic for adults and children with epilepsy), and Modafinil – a drug to stimulate wakefulness – in his system. The County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner reviewed the autopsy findings and agreed with its conclusions.

The Quinto family commissioned an independent autopsy, and its findings note the cause of death was restraint asphyxiation. The private autopsy lists petechial hemorrhaging as the basis for such conclusion. An independent toxicology report also found the presence of Fentanyl in Quinto’s blood – in addition to Modafinil and Levetiracetam.

However, of critical importance to the investigation, an internal examination showed no bone fractures or damage to Quinto’s larynx and trachea. While there are conflicting medical opinions as to the cause of death, the accounts of what transpired in the bedroom are consistent among all witnesses in that no police officer applied pressure to Quinto’s neck.

After reviewing the evidence, the method of restraining Angelo Quinto by Antioch Police officers on December 23rd  was objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances.  Therefore, when applying the applicable law and the California District Attorney’s Uniform Crime Charging Standards, there is no evidence of a criminal offense committed by the Antioch Police officers involved in restraining Angelo Quinto.

Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office will take no further action in this case.

Chief Brooks Press Conference

During the March press conference, Chief Brooks played the 9-1-1 call from the home. The call disconnected. The 9-1-1 dispatcher called back number. Brooks then played radio traffic from officers.

The incident occurred on Dec. 23 at 11:10 pm, police received a call from a woman screaming the address of 1900 block of Crestwood block.

The woman was screaming at her brother only to disconnect.

The dispatcher called back.

The woman said her brother was physically restraining her mother. She said she was armed with a hammer after he took it from her and she had taken it back. She also told the dispatcher he took drugs.

While on the phone with the dispatcher, she told her that her mother was not breathing, and he was strangling her. At that point, she opened the door for police.

When officers arrived, she thanked the dispatcher.

Chief Brooks then played the dispatched highlighting the reporting party is armed with a hammer after the mother took it away from the brother. Dispatch then told officers that the reporting party could hear Quinto was hurting the mother and known to use drugs. A short time later, it was relayed that Quinto was strangling the mother.

According to Brooks, officers arrived on scene to find Angela Quinto being actively restrained by his mother on a bedroom floor in the house and requested she get off of him so they could detain him.

“According to preliminary results of an investigation, at one point during the hand cuff, an officer did briefly for a few seconds have a knee across a portion of his shoulder blade which is a common control technique taught California POST,” stated Brooks. “At no point, did any officer use a knee or any body part to gain leverage or apply pressure to Angelo’s head, neck or throat which is outside of our policy and training.”

He continued saying one officer tried to gain control of Angelo’s legs as they were “thrashing around”.  At that point another officer spoke to Angelo’s mother to determine his medical history. Officers determined Angelo was suffering a mental health crisis and summoned an ambulance at approximately 11:16 pm with two additional officers arriving on scene and paramedics on scene by 11:23 pm.

“As medics entered the room, officers recognized that Angelo had become unresponsive and potentially experiencing a medical emergency. Angelo was immediately unhandcuffed and medics began evaluating him and rendered medical aid,” stated Brooks.

Brooks continued saying Angelo was transferred to an area hospital by approximately 11:30 pm.

Fatal incident protocol was initiated where the  Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office led the investigation. Ultimately, Angelo was admitted to the intensive care unit and remained in their care for 3-days before informed of his passing.

Brooks released details from multiple pathologists relating to their findings.

  1. Although Angelo had injuries consistent with a struggle with his family and law enforcement, none of the injuries appeared to be fatal.
  2. There were no fractures of the skull, torso, or extremities.
  3. A full examination of the neck revealed there was no evidence of strangulation or crushed airway.
  4. They are currently expanding toxicology testing because they were aware of reported past drug use.

Brooks stated a public coroners inquest will provide the medical examiner to provide insight into the medical cause and manner of death—the hearing has yet to be scheduled.  A third-party investigation is in process for this case to determine if any violation of departmental policies occurred.

Brooks closed by offering condolences to the family on their devastating loss.


During the press conference, Chief Brooks stated Mayor Thorpe was informed on December 31.
Later Monday, Broosk provided context stating Thorpe reached out to him and he returned his message and the two talked.  Thorpe confirmed this noting that police did not reach out to him, he reached out to police after learning it on social media.


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1 comment

Two Wheeler Sep 3, 2022 - 7:26 am

Hey Lamar, we are all waiting for your apology to the Police. Once you sober up, that is.

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