Matthew Cline's Suicide Could Have Been Stopped by Huntington Beach Cops: Lawsuit

Categories: Court

matthew-cline_RIP.jpg
Matthew Cline, R.I.P.
The Huntington Beach Police Department did nothing to prevent a 17-year-old boy from committing suicide even though officers knew where he lived and knew he'd posted on social media that he was about to kill himself, alleges a suit his parents filed against the city.

Matthew Cline shot himself in the head inside at his Huntington Beach home on July 17.

(The teen actually shot himself outside of his family residence, according to a family member.)

Matt Reynolds writes for Courthouse News Service that the teen posted on iFunny July 16: "My name is Matthew Cline. This will be my last post on ifunny as I will be committing suicide tonight." Ana Gutierrez, a teen in Los Baños, read the post, found Cline's Facebook page indicating he lived in Huntington Beach and called police.

William and Kathleen Cline's lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court claims an HBPD officer identified only as "Rodriguez" "lulled" Gutierrez into believing police would intervene. Rodriguez is also accused of finding Cline's address but doing nothing to contact the teen's parents or send a police car to the home.

The suit includes Rodriguez's police report that states, "I attempted 2-3 phone calls but no one answered. Due to the fact we were unable to determine where the Mathew Cline lived who made the post, no units were sent to any of the addresses we located under that name."

That's a "blatant, bad-faith" lie, according to the parents' suit, which notes Matthew Cline shot himself about 20 hours after Rodriguez received the call from Gutierrez. Speakiing of calls (or the lack therof), the suit also claims Surf City cops had William Cline's cell-phone number "substantially prior to Matthew's suicide."

Police never called the number, the suit alleges. The parents, who are represented by attorney Douglas Ames, seek unspecified damages for negligence/failure to warn, and costs.

A Huntington Beach Police spokesman told the Orange County Register in September that the department takes suicide threats seriously but "can't follow up all the time." City officials have no comment on the suit.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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42 comments
lgood
lgood

Worst police dept. Hbpd has never had good sense

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

Where were the parents when this was happening?

Why did they allow a gun in their home?

Sorry for the kid. I hope he found some peace.


captaintina
captaintina

I called HBPD about a heroin dealer who got kicked out of his apartment across the street from me literally living behind my garage, and they didn't do anything for 4 days. I literally called 3 times a day to get them to remove the POS from my property. They wouldn't do it til I started harrassing them.

GiveMeABreak
GiveMeABreak

Completely ludicrous that the police are responsible for this suicide. The parents and friends bear some responsibility if this teen posted his plea for help PUBLICLY. and there is no way that the family and friends were not aware their family member was depressed enough to be considering suicide. Suicide doesn't just happen over night, events lead up to it. A person calls for help numerous times before they actually DO IT.  I mean seriously, only one random stranger who noticed his iFunny post cared enough to call police? ONLY ONE PERSON DID ANYTHING-- wasn't anyone else following his feed?


Tamara Cantrell
Tamara Cantrell

There are to many holes in this story. It is tragic that this boy felt that was his only option. The parents should not be suing the police, since they have some culpability as well. This is a sad event and parents always look for someone to blame. Sometimes there is no one to blame but the person who commits suicide.

Brian Zalewski
Brian Zalewski

"... idiotic men with no life them self...". This just shows us that you are a man-hater AND uneducated.

Shawna Carlson Vanderveen
Shawna Carlson Vanderveen

HB cops don't raise my kids, they keep our city safe. These people trying to make some money from this loss, are disgusting!

Brian Zalewski
Brian Zalewski

Very sad for the family's loss, but to blame the police is insane.

fc2479
fc2479 topcommenter

Yea and if the police went over to the house and attempted to talk to the idiot kid everyone would be bitching and screaming about Police brutality.  Hey, it's a free country, if someone wants to do themselves in they have that right.... 

Richard Alan White
Richard Alan White

We all know that the police have "no sworn duty to protect " it's all a marketing and publicity scheme backed by the police unions we learned this in high school :-)

Michele Clark Powell
Michele Clark Powell

Last year one of my instructors called me in as a possible threat to myself... they proceeded to leave a message on my cell phone asking me to call them and let them know that I "was still breathing"

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

At this time I don't want to judge the parents too harshly...they have experienced the most devastating loss. They are searching desperately for somewhere to place the blame...and their lawsuit against the HBPD fills that need...however unfair it might be. :-(

ocresident
ocresident

why is everyone else to blame??  He chose to do this and yes it is very unfortunate and sad but to sue to police dept in my opinion is crazy. 

Gabriel Torres
Gabriel Torres

I know CPS would be up in arms if this happened in an Anaheim or Santana neighborhood.

Frank Balcazar
Frank Balcazar

Sad situation indeed, what seems even sadder is the fact that this kids parents are attempting to PROFIT off, not only the loss of their son, but their neglect for allowing firearms to be accessible to him... Do these parents have no shame?

James Stutsman
James Stutsman

Ignore Wendel...by observation of his grammar, he apparently is ignorant (^^^)

Samantha Bellecomo
Samantha Bellecomo

What so sad is the majority of these comments. This family is broken because of the loss they've just endoured. And people want to blame the parents police and friends. This is stupid. More of you need a fuckibg heart and should worry about your life if you want to blame people. Its disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourselves. This is a horrible thing that can happen to any parent. My prayers goes out to this family and I hope that they can heal from this. I also hope these horrible comments don't break them anymore than they are.

John del Real
John del Real

Hey, mom and dad, where the hell where you guys at?..where were you guys at all the years that led up to him getting to that point.

David Tuccaro
David Tuccaro

Wow. So much ignorance an insensitivity. You people talking crap. You are what's wrong with society and the world. It's appearing you all have you're hang ups in life and nothing better to do. You all make me sick!!!! This was a human life. And no one should have to feel like that. Love prayers to this young man and his family.

Diana Simon
Diana Simon

Ignore the asshole comments. They are usually from idiotic men with no life them self so they try and sh$t on everyone else'

Gabriel Torres
Gabriel Torres

Could the parents be held responsible in a counter suit? How Did a child(under the law) get a gun? And if he killed himself 20FUCKING HOURS AFTER HIS POST! Where we're the parents during those 20 hrs? I hate hbpd but they can't be held accountable for this kids action.

Bill Martin
Bill Martin

dont trust the pigs in any city they are fucken loser fat fuck pigs no respect for the people they pay their over payed salary never trust the pig never

Benjamin Cleveland
Benjamin Cleveland

How about a law suit against his fb friends (especially the local HB ones) who obviously did nothing? They knew exactly where he lived I'm sure.

Jason W Buckley
Jason W Buckley

The sad part about this story and some of the comments, is trying to place blame on somebody.

Shrek Bozek
Shrek Bozek

Sad story, but how is that the police's fault. I think it's more of the parents fault. We're did a 17 year old get a gun?

Neil Manglani
Neil Manglani

C'mon, if he's living in HB and wants to kill himself, he deserves to die

Cecilia Anderson Kirk
Cecilia Anderson Kirk

Very sad. And to the rude comment, Imagine if it were your family member? SMH!

Gabriel Torres
Gabriel Torres

Where there is a will there is a way. Cops might've been able to prevent him that time but there is nothing stopping a person that has made up their mind about suicide.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Cheers to Ana Gutierrez for trying to help.  She did everything she could to save his life. 


trb92677
trb92677

This is an important case due to the increases in teen suicide, the cop should have tried more but that doesn't mean the kid wouldn't have tried again,

The days of the brooding teenager is a rite of passage everyone has been throught it, today's teens have peer pressers, and it takes only a short time in a state of depresson and a simple mussle reaction.

kintzlekandy
kintzlekandy

@GiveMeABreak IFUNNY is where he posted, as reported in the paper.  IFUNNY is a mobile app, and the users' posts are posted randomly, you cannot look up posts by a particular user.  

Kelseyxo
Kelseyxo

@Neil Cleveland Manglani You're a disgusting person and not just obviously from the outside.

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