Palo Alto reached a settlement on Wednesday with Julio Arevalo, who suffered a facial bone fracture at the hands of a city police officer during an arrest outside Happy Donuts in July 2019.
Under the terms of the settlements, the city will pay $150,000 and Arevalo will dismiss his suit against the city and release all claims against individuals involved in the incident. The city will not make any admissions of fault or liability, according to City Attorney Molly Stump.
The full settlement agreement will be prepared and executed in the coming weeks and submitted for court approval.
Arevalo, who was 23 years old at the time of the incident, was arrested by former Agent Thomas DeStefano in front of the doughnut shop at 3916 El Camino Real. During the arrest, which was captured on surveillance video and on DeStefano's body camera, DeStefano asked Arevalo if he was on probation and then attempted to detain him.
Arevalo then tried to walk away from DeStefano, who followed him and tried to pin his arm behind his back to detain him. As Arevalo continued to ask why he was being arrested, DeStefano took him down, flipped him to the ground and told him to "stop resisting."
Arevalo was then taken to the police station, at which point his face began to swell and he was transported to a hospital for treatment for a fractured orbital socket, according to the police.
DeStefano, who left the department in September 2021, also alleged that Arevalo may have been involved in a drug transaction, though Arevalo was never charged and the video doesn't offer any evidence to substantiate that claim.
Arevalo filed a suit against the city in November 2019, accusing the Police Department of violating his civil rights. The claim stated that he was violently attacked and "falsely arrested" by DeStefano, who then included information in his report that he knew was false. The suit was seeking $3.85 million for "personal injury, emotional distress, property damage, other damages and the like."
The City Council discussed the lawsuit from Arevalo and the settlement during a closed session at its May 9 meeting.