I am a Marine Corps. infantry veteran that served my country faithfully in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. As a result of my service, I am service-connected and Social Security disabled for traumatic brain injury, tinnitus, spinal disc injury, and post traumatic stress disorder. As a result of the conditions that I now suffer from as a result of my faithful service, I experience severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, light sensitivity, seizures, ear pain, chronic ringing in the ears, night terrors, daymares, isolation, intrusion, severe irritability (non-violent), hypervigilance, among many other symptoms.
From Fall 2005 to Summer of 2008, I received treatment at the Cincinnati Veteran Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. I participated in the PTSD program and attended group therapy twice a week. During this time, I also enrolled as a student at the University of Cincinnati. As a student, I served as the treasurer for my college's student tribunal, a senator for the University Undergraduate Senate, and treasurer for my fraternity. I also volunteered for the Cincinnati Veteran Medical Center, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, among many other philanthropies. I also participated in the UC Honors program and earned a 3.9/4.0 GPA. I have no record or incidents at the Veteran Medical Center or anywhere else of being violent. To be sure, I am NOT a violent person!
After moving to Aliso Viejo, California with my wife, I began to seek treatment at the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center. On Friday, 14 August 2009, I went to the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center for regularly scheduled group therapy. After therapy, I went to the travel office to receive my travel pay as per 38 C.F.R. 70. However, I was informed by the travel personnel that the "systems were down". Because I had no money, and my gas tank was on empty, I went to the Patient's Advocate office to request assistance. After several hours, and speaking to several people, the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center could not find it possible or reasonable to give me just $2.00 so that I may have enough gasoline to get home from treatment- treatment that I now have to receive as a result of my service to our country. So, I decided to try and make it home on the fuel I had. My motorcycle ran out of gas in the middle of the 73 toll road. I had to walk to a gas station and beg several people for assistance. In frustration, I called the Patient's Advocate Office and informed them, again, of their incompetence and I said that the "reason the suicide rate is so high among veterans is because of **** like this". I did NOT threaten my safety or anyone else's. However, when the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center finally received this message on Monday, 17 August 2009, they sent the Orange County Sheriff's Department to my home again. Believing that my Fourth Amendment and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 rights were being blatantly and grossly violated, I refused to exit my home for several hours. However, after the SWAT team threatened to enter my home with assault weapons, under duress, I agreed to voluntarily admit myself into the L-1 Psychiatric Ward at the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center. At NO time during this incident did I behave violently or threaten anyone's safety including my own. I also had to drop my college courses because of my stay at L-1.
When I arrived at L-1, I was informed by several of the staff that I had angered the administration of the VA for the bad publicity that I had given them. I was then given a pamphlet on seclusion and restraint regulations in the State of California. The pamphlet clearly indicated that seclusions and restraints would not be used as punishment or discipline and would only be used in case of danger to someone's safety. However, the nurses then informed me that if I didn't "comply", I would be "put down". I was then told that I must spend my first 24 hours in seclusion per standard policy. I was fully compliant. I started engaging in activities to stimulate my mind and stay the boredom and ensuing psychological tortures of being secluded as a TBI, tinnitus, and PTSD sufferer. I made my bed, did jumping-jacks, pushups and situps. Dr. Sean Menjores came into my room and asked me to sit in another, smaller room. I did. I was told to sit in a chair at the back of the small room underneath the camera. Dr. Menjores entered the room with three (3) large, male nurses. He handed me a small cup with a pill. Dr. Menjores informed me that I had "caused the hospital a lot of trouble" and that my behavior was "agitated"; he said he wanted me to take Ativan. I told Dr. Menjores that I wasn't agitated, though certainly indignant, and that I was merely trying to pass the time. Dr. Menjores told me that he wished for me to take the Ativan regardless. I reluctantly took the pill. Then, Dr. Menjores gave me another small cup of pills which he also told me to take. I refused and asked its contents. He told me that it was Haldol, Benadryl, and Clonozepam. Now realizing that Dr. Menjores was intending to heavily medicate me without ethically addressing my medical and psychological issues and without informing me of all the possible side effects of these very dangerous drugs, I refused the medication. Dr. Menjores told me that if I refused he would call the VA police and they would "put [me] down". I again refused. Seven (7) VA police officer entered the room with batons and mace already drawn. The officers were shaking the mace and beating their hands with the batons in an aggressive riot-control manner. The doctor and the three (3) large male nurses were still in the small room. Dr. Menjores gave me "one last chance to take the medication before [I am] put down". I again refused. I was sprayed in the face by at least two (2) different officers. I was then brutally batonned by several others. I blacked out. When I came to, one of the police officers was stepping on my head. I was screaming frantically and begged Dr. Menjores to inform them of my TBI and the damage he was doing to it. Dr. Menjores corroborated my claim, but the officer continued to stomp on my injured head while the others brutally batonned me. I was then handcuffed to a bed with mace on my face. My wife and her father visited me and saw the bruises and bumps all over my body. The entire incident was also captured on video camera. At this time, I informed Dr. Sean Menjores and Kevin Vejar that I intend to pursue damages and prosecution for my injuries. Dr. Menjores told me that during the incident, I broke one police officer's jaw, and another's rib. I still do not know if this is true or not, but I informed Dr. Menjores that I was defending myself against unlawful assault and battery.
After my discharge from the hospital, I again sought medical and psychological treatment from the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center and the Laguna Hills Community Based Outpatient Clinic. I attended all TBI, medical and psychological appointments and groups without incident. I again registered for college courses. However, I received a letter from Isabel Duff and the VA Police informing me that I would be denied medical and psychological treatment unless I submitted to a search of my person and property every time I have an appointment and that I would be refused treatment at the Laguna Hill Community Based Outpatient Clinic which is the nearest VA medical facility to my home. I called Isabel Duff and Kevin Vejar and informed them that I would not consent to these searches for several reasons: One, I have NEVER assaulted anyone at the VA in my over five (5) years of seeking treatment and volunteering there. Two, I was assaulted by VA Police and staff. Three, I have never assaulted or battered anyone with a weapon at the VA or anywhere else. Fourth and most important, this demand was a blatant and gross violation of my Fourth Amendment Rights.
After receiving the letter, I decided to attend regularly scheduled group therapy without complying with the search. However, I was told by Kevin Vejar that I would not be allowed to receive treatment unless I consent to the searches. I refused. As I was LEAVING the VA hospital, I was surrounded by ten (10) VA Police officers. Again, they had tasers and mace drawn. One sergeant even yelled, "Let's just spray his *** now". I didn't resist, and was arrested. I was not at anytime read my Miranda Rights. I was put into a small detainment room. I heard the officers argue for several hours about "probable cause" as they each flipped through laws, regulations and codes. I was eventually told that I was being arrested for trespassing. I was also told that I could "always plead NGRI, and they won't give you anything". I was later charged with assault on a police officer and several other ridiculous and absurd charges that can easily be dismissed by the video tape that captured the entire incident. However, the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center sent my public defender, David Cho, a letter informing them that the tape had been "routinely" destroyed. But my wife has a social worker that she started seeing at St. Joseph Hospital in Santa Ana, California. This social worker also works for the L-1 Ward at the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center, and she informed my wife that they do NOT destroy tapes involving violence or police.
I had to again drop my college courses. Since the incident, the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center has refused me treatment from my primary care physician, my psychiatrist, and has refused me access to the Laguna Hills Community Based Outpatient Clinic (or any other VA clinic) which is the nearest VA medical facility to my home and the only facility that I can reasonably access.
As a result of the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center and the VA Police's malpractice, negligence, assault, battery, and false imprisonment, I suffer from severe head trauma, sever back pain, severe bodily injury, severe medical neglect and resulting exacerbation of medical and psychological symptoms, severe psychological damage to myself and my wife, severe pain and suffering for myself and my wife. The VA refuses to give me treatment for these service-connected conditions. Furthermore, the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center continues to press erroneous felony charges against me.
My wife was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. We are financially destitute. Nevertheless, I have recently been accepted to, offered a full-tuition scholarship to, and have been invited to participate in the honors program of a top-tier university. However, I cannot properly attend to my wife's medical and psychological needs or my academic requirements to maintain my scholarships if I do not receive treatment for my medical and psychological conditions. Moreover, I cannot accept felony charges against me when I have served my country faithfully and have done NOTHING wrong, legally or ethically; the VA staff and police are the one that broke the law and violated MY constitutional rights. THEY should be prosecuted!
Please contact the Long Beach District Attorney's office, the Governor of California. and your congresspersons, and tell them to stop prosecuting false charges against me, to investigate the corrupt misconduct of the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center and the Long Beach VA Police, and to order the Department of Veterans' Affairs to render to all veterans the reasonable medical and psychological care that we earned by our faithful service to our country in combat.

Long Beach District Attorney
415 W. Ocean Blvd. Rm. 305
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: 562-491-6301
Fax: 562-432-3898

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

Semper Fidelis,
Nathan T. Vázquez

natevazquez natevazquez
2 Responses Jul 23, 2010


VA Police do not carry tazers and cannot use their intermediate weapons without getting a few days of suspension... Also VA Police cannot restrain a person at the request of a physician, it's just not going to happen. If this all really did happen then you need a good attorney.