Tustin Police Cleared In Federal Excessive Force Lawsuit

An Orange County man, who accused two Tustin Police Department cops of using excessive force against him at The District in October 2009, lost a federal jury trial last month and must now pay the officers' legal bills.

Edward Rezek was struck in a crosswalk at the popular shopping plaza by a private security vehicle, pounded on the hood in reaction and then was taken into custody for committing minor vandalism by officers Brian Chupp and Mark Turner, who had been working undercover, drunk patrol nearby inside the Auld Dubliner Pub.

Rezek claimed in his 2011 lawsuit that the officers unnecessarily tackled him, roughed him up and caused injuries requiring medical attention.


Chupp and Turner–who eventually won a misdemeanor vandalism charge against Rezek but were unsuccessful obtaining a guilty verdict on their resisting arrest count–insisted their use of force had been justified.

In the wake of the civil jury's decision, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter issued a January 29 order for Rezek to pay the legal bills of veteran attorney Robert L. Kaufman, who represented Tustin and the two cops.

Kaufman, who charges $210 an hour, has not yet submitted a final bill for Carter's perusal, but he also wants Rezek's Los Alamitos lawyer, Thomas E. Beck, to separately pay nearly $4,000 for causing a mistrial by officially supplying a false transcript when the dispute reached the original jury in 2014, according to court records.

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