Inland Empire News
Christopher Dorner reward: Carjack victim upset about not getting part of $1M
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (KABC) -- For Rick Heltebrake, Feb.12 started off like any other day for the Boy Scout camp ranger. That is until he came face to face with fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner, who carjacked him at gunpoint.
"I was accosted by Dorner and as soon as I got away from him, I called this local deputy," said Heltebrake.
He said that phone call helped lead law enforcement to Dorner. Now, he's fighting to claim a portion of the $1-million reward offered during the manhunt.
"I assure you when I made this phone call, nobody knew where Dorner was except me," said Heltebrake.
On Tuesday, a three judge panel decided to split the reward money between three parties they deemed responsible for helping lead authorities to Dorner.
James and Karen Reynolds, who were tied up by Dorner but escaped and called police, will receive 80 percent. Daniel McGowan, who discovered Dorner's burning truck in Big Bear, will get 15 percent. And 5 percent will go to Lee McDaniel, a tow truck driver who spotted Dorner at a gas station and alerted police.
Heltebrake said his attorney will file an injunction to stop the pay outs.
"For me to be just ruled out because somebody came up with a separate process from the one that we used, which was the legal process at the time, basically changing the rules in the middle of the game," said Heltebrake.
In the judges' decision, there is a footnote that explains why Heltebrake would not have received the reward even if he applied for it.
The panel of judges concluded Heltebrake's phone call to police did not provide information leading to Dorner.
They said during the call Heltebrake reported hearing gunfire, meaning law enforcement had already located Dorner and were engaged in a gun battle with him. Heltebrake said their timeline is false and said the audio from scanner traffic that day proves it.
"All the information that was put out to all those other law enforcement agencies that were now heading in this direction were based on my phone call," he said.
Heltebrake's lawyer said he plans to file for the injunction Friday.
Dorner was wanted in the killing of Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiancé Keith Lawrence, as well as the shooting deaths of Riverside Officer Michael Crain and San Bernardino Detective Jeremiah MacKay. In his manifesto, Dorner threatened to kill all officers who played a part in his dismissal from the LAPD, including their families.
Dorner died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on Feb. 12 after a dramatic final stand at an Angelus Oaks cabin that went up in flames. His charred body was found inside.
chris dorner, inland empire news, leticia juarez
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