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Deputies Tasered Man In His Genitals Over Littering, Lawsuit Says
A 26-year-old man from Altadena filed a lawsuit claiming deputies tasered him in his genitals multiple times—and it all started because his father dropped a cigarette on the ground.
Daniel Johnson filed the civil complaint against the L.A. County Sheriff's Department in January, according to NBC Los Angeles. The lawsuit alleges that outside of Johnson's family's home on the evening of Dec. 26, 2012, Deputy Abdulfattah and Deputy Russell (as named in the court documents) were ticketing Johnson's father $1,000 and community service for littering; they accused him of putting out a cigarette butt on the ground. (Johnson's 58-year-old father walks with a cane and has nerve damage in his hands, often dropping things, according to the lawsuit.)
"I asked if it would be possible for me to just pick it up," Johnson told NBC Los Angeles. "We don't have $1,000 to pay that ticket."
That's when things spiraled out of control and Johnson claims he was attacked and viciously tasered by the deputies to the point where he was screaming and could "smell his flesh burning from the tases." According to Courthouse News, the lawsuit reads:
"At this point, plaintiff's mother, who had also come outside to see what was going on, told him to go back into the house. He was not being given a ticket, and neither of the officers said anything further to him, so Mr. Johnson turned away and began to walk back toward the house. As he walked away from the officers, Deputy Russell grabbed plaintiff from behind and tried to slam him against the police car. When Mr. Johnson asked why he was assaulting him, Deputy Russell maintained his hold on plaintiff and then tried to slam him against a nearby concrete post. Mr. Johnson's mother and father repeatedly asked the officers to 'leave him alone' because 'he hasn't done anything wrong.' The officers refused."
Abdulfattah then allegedly "hit his father in the face with his fist." Russell put Johnson in a full nelson, swept his legs from under him and pinned him down on the sidewalk, the lawsuit says. Johnson claimed he wasn't resisting arrest, yet Abdulfattah tasered him up to 10 times in the genitals every couple of seconds, while his parents begged him to stop.
"He's looking directly at me every time he pulls that trigger, and at one point my son says, 'Mom, I'm OK," Johnson's mother, Rose Gonzales, told NBC Los Angeles. "So at that point, I realize this guy is doing this because I am reacting."
Johnson, who is a UC Berkeley graduate and has never had a criminal history, was arrested for battery on a police officer. However, he claims the battery charges were never filed and the case was dropped.
The L.A. County Sheriff's Department has not commented on the situation and said one of the deputies was "the best deputy in the division," according to NBC Los Angeles.