Alma Jimenez and John Dorscht, parents of Christian Dorscht, 13, filed the suit on Feb. 28 concerning a Feb. 21 altercation with Kevin Ferguson, 33, who discharged a firearm near Dorscht and other teenagers.The parents filed the suit on behalf of their son, seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
The lawsuit stated Dorscht was one of the teenagers unjustifiably arrested and imprisoned as a victim in a “brutal attack.”
Ferguson’s attorney, Larry Hanna, said the officer believed the boy said, “I’m going to shoot you,” though other teens at the scene heard him say, “I am going to sue you.”
Dorscht’s parents said he “suffers from a speech impairment” in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit explained during the scuffle Ferguson “ferociously tackled the boy, choked him in a headlock, struck him in the private area and dragged him across multiple lawns.”
It also reports that APD arrived at the scene, but failed to arrest Ferguson. Instead, they took the boy to juvenile hall, causing further emotional distress.
Anaheim police reported a 13-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and battery, along with a 15-year-old boy also arrested on suspicion of battery.
Ferguson was not arrested at the scene and remains on-duty but not working in the field, according to the LAPD, though the lawsuit claims Ferguson never identified himself as a police officer or showed his badge during the altercation.
Larry Hanna has defended Fergusons’ fired shot to defuse an escalating situation where he had been punched in the face and other teens were pursuing him.
According to the LA Times, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file officers like Ferguson, dismissed the lawsuit as a “shakedown” in a statement Wednesday.
“We hope that this lawsuit determines why multiple young adults chose to physically assault a police officer and what the parents of these young adults could have done to teach their children right from wrong,” the statement read.
Online videos of the altercation surfaced on social media, prompting nearly 300 protestors to roam the streets the following evening near Ferguson’s home in Anaheim.
The demonstration ended with some property damage, vandalism and 23 people arrested.
On Sunday Feb 26., more than 100 people gathered to march outside of the Anaheim Police Department to peacefully protest the confrontation, voicing the same concerns.
The Anaheim and Los Angeles Police Departments are still conducting an investigation of the Feb. 21 encounter between Ferguson and the teens.