Breakdown: How the System Failed Reny Cabral

Reny Cabral
Reny at Enloe Rehabilitation Center

 by Leslie Layton

Reynaldo “Reny” Cabral looked like he wanted to brush away the tears. But it’s easy to forget that he has little use of his arms, and though a shoulder twitched, the tears ran freely on this recent March afternoon in a hospital lobby.

It’s hard for most people to think of Reny as a quadriplegic, and he too is just getting used to the idea. On Jan. 8, Reny broke his neck in the Glenn County Jail, ending up paralyzed from the chest down.

Surrounded by friends and family, Reny quickly composed himself as 30 people posed with him for pictures. Camera shutters were clicking: Reny in his athletic shorts and jersey and plastic neck brace, his legs wrapped in Ace bandages to help circulation. Reny, a former high-school football lineman, now wheelchair-bound, accused of trying to murder his former girlfriend. read more