A trucker pulled over in California for a routine traffic stop is claiming that the highway patrol officers who pulled him over used excessive force while arresting him for crimes that he didn’t commit. The driver was allegedly tased and beaten so badly that he received broken bones, multiple fractured ribs, a concussion, traumatic brain injury, and facial fractures so severe that he had to receive reconstructive surgery.
The driver, 58-year-old Olegs Kozacenko immigrated from Russia where he worked as a maritime engineer. He both reads and speaks English. Kozacenko has claimed that his horrible treatment may have been because of his Russian/Latvian ethnicity and accent.
The incident occurred when Kozacenko was pulled over by two CHP officers who requested his license, logbook, and medical card. One of the officers began writing him up for being over hours, despite the fact that he still had an hour left in his 11-hour day. The other trooper climbed in his truck and began searching his sleeper without his permission.
Despite not having found any reason to do so, the officers wrote him up for a DUI. They ended up also charging him with resisting arrest when he asked to read the summons to appear in court. Because he asked to read the summons, he claims that one of the officers bent his left arm behind his back and then both started beating him.
The complaint also alleges that the officers “submitted deliberately inaccurate reports and declarations of probable cause in this incident, stating or implying that Kozacenko was violating the law and that his arrest was reasonable, including alleging that Kozacenko was driving under the influence of alcohols and/or drugs.”
When Kozacenko was taken to the hospital, no evidence of drugs or alcohol showed up on blood tests.
Kozacenko has filed a complaint not only against the two officers who beat him, but also their superiors, alleging that they “failed to adequately supervise, investigate and disciple officers’ use of excessive force.”
According to the complaint, he suffered a significant concussion, contusions, convulsions, significant traumatic brain injury, and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He is currently unable to work. He is seeking compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages.
His case has been scheduled to begin trial in February of 2015.
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