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Ariel Levy,
Hayward, California
February 04, 2014

Agencies: Hayward Police Department California

Last updated: 11 months ago

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The imprisoned son of a woman who was fatally shot by Hayward police filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday.

Evan Michael Pimental, 24, said police failed to find other means of subduing his mother, Ariel Levy, 62, before killing her outside her apartment in February.

Police never tried to “deal with the decedent’s depression” such as detaining her for a psychiatric evaluation, Pimental said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against the city of Hayward, which has not responded to the suit.

About 7:15 p.m. Feb. 4, two Hayward officers responded to a second-floor unit at the Summerwood Apartment Homes at 21701 Foothill Blvd. The officers were dispatched at the request of Pleasanton police for a welfare check on Levy, who had been calling the Pleasanton agency repeatedly about a criminal investigation involving her son, authorities said.

After officers went into Levy’s apartment, they saw she had a handgun and retreated outside when she walked toward them, police said. Fearing for his life and the other officer’s life, one of the officers opened fire, police have said.

The weapon turned out to be a replica handgun, authorities said.

A police spokesman has said Levy was “distraught” that her son had been implicated in a gun investigation, felt she had been mistreated by police and wrote a note “indicating that she wanted to end her life over her recent family problems.”

Court records show that both agencies were involved in serving a search warrant Jan. 24 on the apartment Levy shared with Pimental.

A Pleasanton officer found live ammunition, a shotgun, an AK-47-type rifle and a fully automatic Velocity VMAC9 machine pistol, Andrew Williams of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in a court affidavit.

The AK-47-type rifle and the machine pistol were not properly registered and had been “concealed behind a false wall that was manufactured inside a closet of the apartment,” Williams wrote.

Asked if she knew about the guns being at the residence, Levy said, “No, I didn’t know that was in the apartment,” Williams wrote. Pleasanton police cited Levy that day for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

In June, Pimental was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for receiving or possessing an unregistered firearm.

In a sentencing memorandum, Pimental’s attorney, assistant federal public defender Joyce Leavitt wrote that her client, “who had been more of a caretaker for his mother during his entire life than she was ever able to be for him, blames himself for her death and continues to struggle with what happened.”

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