The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 06, 1994, Image 1

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    Sports
■ Frazier to have surgery this week, Page 7
Arts & Entertainment
■ "Scapino!" opens at Howell Theatre, Page 8
PAGE 2: Missing woman found alive near Macy
Emotion flows as Renteria family tells pain
—^ „ - -
Death or rrancisco
is driving family
cra2y, brother says
By Brian Sharp
Senior Reporter
Maria Vega is feeling a loss like no other.
Her son, Francisco Renteria, died Saturday
after a struggle with police.
“I feel something in my heart that is so big,
I have no way of comparing it,” she said
through an interpreter. “I don’t want anything
unjust for anyone. I just want justice.”
Vega and other family members, speaking
through interpreter Jose Soto, talked about their
loss to media and the community Wednesday
night at the Hispanic Community Center, 2300
O St. The press conference, which began on
the second floor, soon moved to first floor af
ter the crowd began to overflow down the stairs
and onto the fire escape.
Renteria, 30, died Saturday at Lincoln Gen
eral Hospital. Renteria was in a struggle with
five Lincoln Police officers and one UNL Po
lice officer Friday night after being stopped at
24th and Holdrege streets.
The UNL officer attempted to stop Renteria,
thinking he matched the description of a man
wanted on charges of violating a protection or
der. Renteria did not speak English. After be
ing placed in a cruiser, Renteria had a seizure
and was taken to the hospital. Police later
learned he was not the man they were looking
for.
Jose Renteria, Francisco’s brother, said deal
ing with the loss and how it came about was
taking its toll on the family.
“There’s only one way to explain it,” he
said. “We’re going crazy.”
The family came to Lincoln from Chicago,
he said.
Francisco Renteria lived in Chicago for
eight years, moving there from Mexico, fam
ily members said. He returned to Mexico for a
short time, before moving to Lincoln six
months ago.
“Unfortunately we came here to suffer what
we have never suffered in our lives,” Jose
Renteria said.
“It was a terrible death,” he said. “We never,
never thought that it would be in this place
(that it could happen), much less at the hands
of the individuals who are charged with pro
INKS Pauhnan/DN
Jos* Renteria shows grief Wednesday evening for the death of Ms brother Francisco, who died Saturday after being
arrested Friday night. Relatives of Francisco Renteria spoke with members of the community and the press .
tecting us.”
Cecilia Huerta, executive director of the
Mexican American Commission, said she was
concerned that the State Patrol was investigat
ing LPD, after hearing complaints of conflicts
with the agency. Huerta said it had been re
quested that the UNL Ombudsman conduct an
independent investigation of UNL police.
Cathy Maestas, president of the Mexican
American Student Association, said after the
meeting that students sent a letter Tuesday to
Chancellor Graham Spanier asking that a stu
dent be appointed to an advisory committee
investigating the UNL Police Department’s
role in the death.
Maestas said students are trying to help the
family through the next few days. As far as
students’ relationship with UNL and Lincoln
police, Maestas said Friday’s episode was not
an isolated incident.
Carlos Monzon, a lawyer for the Renteria
family, would not comment on the case or simi
larities between county and independent au
topsies completed Tuesday. Monzon did say
there was “a high possibility” that Renteria had
suffered broken bones. Results could be re
leased in four to six weeks, he said.
Earlier Wednesday, Casady said that al
though the autopsy could help determine a
cause of death, “results from medical exams
are never as clear cut as they are made out to
be.” The results, he said, can be interpreted
many ways.
“People ought to be pretty dam cautious
about speculating or filling in the blanks,”
Casady said.
For Araceli Renteria, Francisco’s sister,
there are no blanks to be filled in. She saw her
brother being beaten by police, she said.
“I saw when they grabbed him,” she said.
“They kicked him. They pulled his hair. That’s
part of what I saw.”
Finding the answers to how this happened
will restore Renteria’s dignity, his brother
Carlos Renteria said. A dignity that was lost
in the final moments of his life.
“The way they killed my brother is the way
that dogs are killedfHte said. “And my brother
was never an animal. He was a human being,
just like every one of us.”
Memorial services will be held Thursday,
with the funeral on Friday. He is survived by
his mother, seven brothers and three sisters.
Frazier’s next play
likely to be surgery
By Tfvor Parks__
Staff Reporter
Nebraska quarterback Tommie
Frazier likely will undergo surgery
this week to relieve his clotting
problem, one of his doctors said
I--1 Wednesday.
Dr. Dee
pak Ganga
nar, a cardio
vascular sur
geon at Bry
an Memorial
Hospital, said
he was 90
i^*^^**-**-* percent cer
Frazlar tain Frazier
would undergo surgery to block off
a superficial vein in his right calf,
a surgery that is not dangerous or
life-threatening. Frazier would
likely miss the remainder of the
Cornhuskers’ season.
“As it stands now, his blood
should be kept thin for three to six
months,” Gangahar said.
Frazier could remain in the hos
pital for the next seven to 10 days,
Gangahar said. Any decision on
Frazier’s future, however, is not up
to him, Gangahar said.
“In terms of the long-term goal
as to whether he plays football or
not, that is up to the coaches,”
Gangahar said. “But from a medi
cal standpoint, he should not par
ticipate in any activity while the
blood is thin.”
Frazier, who was diagnosed
with a blood clot Sept. 25, was re
admitted Tuesday afternoon to
Bryan Memorial Hospital after
another blood clot appeared.
Gangahar said the second clot in
Frazier’s right leg had dissolved
late Tuesday afternoon.
“We physicians have only one
goal, and that goal is Tommie’s
health,” Gangahar said. “We want
Tommie to be healthy the way he
has been in the past.”
NU football coach Tom Osborne
agreed that Frazier’s playing sta
See FRAZIER on 7
Cops may be put in bars
By Ann Stack_
Staff Reporter
The Lincoln Police Department
hopes that putting police in the bars
will keep underage drinkers out.
The department has applied for a
grant through the Nebraska Office of
Highway Safety to begin a program
called “Badges In Bars.”
Police Capt. Jim Peschong said the
idea for the patrol came in part from
downtown bar owners. A few own
ers wanted the police to do more to
keep minors out of their bars, he said.
“It will consist of officers work
ing in the downtown area in both
plainclothes and uniform trying to
catch minors using fake ID’s or con
suming alcohol in bars,” Peschong
said.
In the past, police have done rou
tine bar checks, but evidently that
hasn’t been enough, he said.
“We’re somewhat limited in re
sources with on-duty officers, so we
applied for a grant to put more en
forcement in the area,” Peschong
said. “Hopefully, people will drink
more responsibly if they see a higher
visibility of law enforcement.”
He said the department had re
ceived preliminary approval for the
grant from the Office of Highway
Safety, but Final approval should
come in a few weeks.
Several bars already have agreed
to work with the police department,
Peschong said.
Chris Kugler, co-owner of
Montigo Bay, 1435 O St., said he
thought the program was a good idea.
“I think it’ll help a lot. It’s hard
to catch them (fake ID’s) because
some of them are pretty good,”
Kugler said. “If it’s someone helping
us out, it’s Fine with me.”
Frank Gillaspie, manager of
Morgan’s Upstairs, 1409 O St.,
agreed.
“They’re helping me because my
liquor license is my livelihood,” he
said. “If I lose that, I lose my income.
If an officer is going to come in here
to help me and I don’t have to pay
him, I have no problem with that.
“The only people who are going
to have a problem with that are those
who are doing something illegal,” he
said.
Jerry Reif, cook and doorman at
The Watering Hole, 1321 O St., said
the bar didn’t seem to have a prob
lem with underage drinkers.
The bar has a reputation for catch
ing fake ID’s, he said, and it caters
to older college students, most of
whom have become regulars. Unfa
miliar faces, he said, tend to stand
out.
Reif said distinguishing fake ID's
from real ones wasn’t tough.
“There’s a book the state puts out
that shows what an ID is supposed to
look like,” he said. “Also, the year
they were born and the year the card
is supposed to expire has to be divis
ible by four. If the numbers don’t fit,
it’s a fake.”
The “Badges In Bars” program
would be a positive addition for other
bars, Reif said, but at The Watering
Hole, police presence probably would
be unnecessary.
But it wouldn’t hurt business, he
said.
“I don’t see why it should bother
anyone,” he said.
Peschong said that if minors were
caught with alcohol, they would be
cited for being a minor purchasing
alcohol or a minor in possession.
Underage drinkers caught using
fake ID’s to enter bars will be cited
for misrepresentation of age to get
into a liquor establishment. The
maximum fine for these offenses is
$500.