A lawsuit has been filed against a California cop who drove his patrol car into a fleeing teenager.
The chase began over a pair of stolen earbuds from Target on August 11.
The only problem: video shows 17-year-old Oscar Ramirez didn’t steal anything.
“Get down! Get down! Stop now,” Capitola cop Zack Currier can be heard saying on dash cam.
“They’re foot-bailing,” he radios to dispatch.before ramming Ramirez.
According to the lawsuit, a Target loss-prevention worker observed live surveillance video of a person shoplifting, but Ramirez is seen standing away from his companion at the far end of the aisle before they were seen leaving the premises.
Since he is a minor, Ramirez’s companion is not identified in court documents.
Diane Vaillancourt, Ramirez’s attorney, argues officer Currier’s use of force could have been deadly for her client.
“Officer Currier struck the boy with, at a minimum, a reckless disregard for young Oscar Ramirez’s life while stopping his flight,” she wrote in the lawsuit filed on Ramirez’s behalf.
“Currier and (the security guard) then jumped on top of the boy — again in total disregard for potential injuries he may have suffered.”
When Currier, who suffered scrapes and torn clothe, was returned to his mother, Currier claimed the boy was involved in theft and swore at police.
Vaillancourt says Currier made a number of misrepresentations in the incident report as well.
“Ramirez dashed out of the way of a mailbox that was in his path as he was fleeing, towards my patrol vehicle,” the lawsuit’s reference to the report says.
“Ramirez’ direction change caused him to collide into the right front fender of my patrol vehicle.”
The lawsuit claims excessive force and accuses the City of Capitola of not properly training or supervising its officers to protect citizens Constitutionally protected rights.
“Any reasonable officer would have understood using his patrol vehicle as an impact weapon was unconstitutional under the circumstances,” Vaillancourt wrote in recent court filing.