Los Angeles News

Torrance man shot at during Chris Dorner manhunt files lawsuit

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
David Perdue is shown in an undated file photo.

David Perdue is shown in an undated file photo. (KABC Photo)

A man shot at by police officers who mistook him for murder suspect Christopher Dorner in February filed a lawsuit against the city of Torrance and its police department Monday.

Torrance resident David Perdue, 38, was driving his pickup truck in the early morning hours of February 7 when he was stopped by Torrance police officers who were on the lookout for Dorner.

Dorner, a former LAPD cop, was suspected of killing two people after announcing his intent to bring revenge against police. Dorner was believed to be driving a pickup truck, though a different make and model than what Perdue was driving.

The officers who stopped Perdue asked him a few questions, then told him to turn around and go back the way he came, according to the lawsuit.

Soon after, a second police car driving toward him accelerated to 25-30 mph "without any warning," and rammed his pickup, spinning him around and tearing off the rear axle. Air bags deployed and Perdue's upper body was jolted over the center console, he says in his complaint.

Perdue says the two officers fired at least three bullets into the open driver's side window, sending them into the side air bags, past his head and through the front windshield.

Perdue was ordered out of the pickup with a gun to his head and forced to lie face-down on the pavement. He was detained for an hour.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court, says Perdue has suffered "physical injuries, severe emotional distress and mental suffering."

The complaint alleges that the city and its police department refused to accept responsibility for what happened and instead published false and conflicting accounts. It also states that the officers involved were allowed to return to duty without any discipline. Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said he can't comment on discipline issues, but the two officers involved returned to duty after a psychological evaluation, which is routine after such an incident.

The Perdue shooting was not the only case of mistaken identity that morning. Two women delivering newspapers in Torrance were also shot at by Los Angeles police officers; the city reached a $4.2 million settlement with the women in April in addition to the $40,000 settlement for the loss of their pickup truck.

Dorner killed four people before he died during a standoff with police in the Big Bear Lake area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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legal, officer-involved shooting, los angeles news
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