Friday, November 19, 2010 at 10:41 a.m.
Poor Skip Torrance.
A couple of years ago, the Bank of America vice president stubbed his toe while walking to his car and cursed like a sailor. Because he was acting kind of strange, a quick-thinking bystander wrote down his license plate, thinking Torrance must have been the guy who just assaulted a couple at a nearby Laguna Beach restaurant. He called the Laguna cops, who provided the information to the OC Sheriff's deputies--since it turns out Torrance lived in Dana Point, outside their jurisdiction.
So on the morning of Sept. 4, 2008, two enterprising deputies forced their way into Torrance's house, stood over his bed, woke him up, and demanded that he stand tall before the man. Then the two rude dudes tased the bro in his bed!
What could have been a nifty bit of police work suddenly went sideways, though. Sideways in the sense that Torrance was the wrong dude, er, bro. In fact, unlike the suspect, who was described by the victims and other witnesses as a guy with a shaved head, Torrance had a full head of hair. Nonetheless, they hauled Torrance off to jail. Then the victims told the deputies Torrance wasn't the perp. Although the deputies claimed that Torrance resisted arrest and tried to assault them, prosecutors refused to file any charges against him.
Feeling somewhat let-down by the whole experience, our hero then sued sued both the city of Laguna Beach and the Sheriff's Department. Our sad tale ends on a happy note. On Nov. 15, the city of Laguna Beach and the County of Orange paid $380,000 to Torrance for his troubles, according to a press release that day by Torrance's lawyer, Jerry Steering.
Here's the kicker, according to Steering: During the course of his lawsuit, the identity of the actual perp was obtained. But guess what? He was never charged with any crime, either.