Southern California citizens most commonly complain that cops overzealously exercise their law enforcement powers.
But an Orange County man is suing the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for failing to arrest him after he partied with booze in Sept. 2013 at Anaheim's Bottoms Up Tavern.
No, you correctly read that sentence.
Daniel Ray Fernandez has filed a complaint for damages because he claims a CHP officer stopped him for driving in excess of 100 mph on Interstate 5 near Disneyland, impounded his motorcycle, gave him a traffic ticket, and left him on the side of the highway heavily intoxicated, moneyless and without a cell phone.
According to a police report obtained by the Weekly, a home-bound Fernandez--whose blood-alcohol level was an alarming .204--was struck, wounded and knocked unconscious about 30 minutes later by 60 mph traffic while walking on a 22 Freeway ramp near Grand Avenue.
His injuries included a broken left arm, broken left elbow, broken left wrist, broken right ankle as well as lacerations to his head and body.
Jonathan A. Falcioni, the plaintiff's Riverside-based lawyer, wrote in the lawsuit that the CHP officer knew Fernandez was heavily intoxicated, owed a duty to make an arrest but forced him to try to walk several miles home.
"With knowledge that [Fernandez] was a danger to himself and others, officer D. Howard abandoned him on the side of the road," Falcioni wrote. "Howard knowingly created this dangerous condition by subjected him to it."
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The plaintiff presently seeks unspecified damages for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton will preside over the case if an upcoming mediation conference with Fernandez, who turns 32 years old tomorrow, doesn't resolve the dispute before a future jury trial.