Mother Alleges Her Son Was Beaten by Five Officers in Santa Rita


Mary Cook said her son was physically beaten while a prisoner at Santa Rita jail in San Ramon and wants to warn others of the issue.



Nathan Cook, 32, who has had mental problems and was receiving medication for his condition while in jail awaiting trial, was convicted of attempted murder of a police officer, receiving two 25-year sentences.


He is currently housed at San Quentin Prison.


According to Mrs. Cook, she and several family friends saw her son following the beating they said occurred on Jan. 6, 2015. They said he was beaten unconscious, had a black eye and a number of bruises.


Mrs. Cook, a minister, says she doesn’t want to see anyone else’s child suffer the same sort of treatment. She said she has contacted a lawyer, but her case was rejected.


She has repeatedly tried to get answers, to no avail. The few people she has talked to have refused to comment on the incident.


“I guess this is common place,” Mrs. Cook said. “But that doesn’t make it right.”


Nathan Cook was arrested on Jan. 25, 2013 in Oakland after being chased on foot by police. Police reports say Cook shot and wounded a police officer while the officer and his partner were attempting to arrest him.


The officer’s injury was not life threatening, and he was treated and released from the hospital within several hours of the shooting.


Mrs. Cook said her son accidentally shot the officer in the leg. He was on drugs at the time and extremely paranoid. He was trying to get to the Fruitvale BART station and had a paranoid episode and stole a bicycle. When a police officer, who he said didn’t identify himself, chased him, he ran and hid behind a car.


When he shot the gun into a vacant car he hid behind, the bullet ricocheted and hit the officer, according to Mrs. Cook, who also said that her son was not injured in the incident.


Cook was housed at Santa Rita Jail for several years and went to trial in January 2015. Mrs. Cook said he went to court on Jan. 6 and then he was returned to a holding area.


She said he fell asleep in the holding area and was awakened by five police officers who beat him unconscious. She said they didn’t take him to the infirmary though he was in excruciating pain.


“They had him sign a form (saying) that he didn’t need attention,” she said.


Mrs. Cook said her son told her that after the incident he couldn’t walk, his jaw wasn’t broken but was severely bruised, and he couldn’t lie on his back for two weeks.


“It was heartbreaking to read the report,” she said. “When the trial started he still had a black eye. We could all see that he had been beaten up.”


By press time, police and jail officials had not responded to calls for comment.


Several of Mrs. Cook’s friends tried to get answers and call the jail and police, but said they received no answers about the situation.


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