A Riverside County man, who claims an out of control Huntington Beach Police Department officer strangled him without cause on the beach near the city pier in June, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.
In his 20-page complaint, Maliek Rosier explained that he was at the beach with a group of friends when police announced a 10 p.m. curfew. They complied but after walking about 100 feet, a woman in the group realized she’d left her shoes behind. Believing he was acting chivalrously, Rosier volunteered to return and retrieve them.
That’s when officer Andrew Reza yelled, “Stop resisting” and then rushed him, according to the lawsuit.
Cameron Sehat, Rosier’s Irvine-based attorney, asserts that Reza and other present cops didn’t ask his client why he’d returned, and he noted something peculiar.
Rosier and Reza weren’t “physically together” when the cop blurted out, “Stop resisting,” he observed.
If the complaint is accurate, what happened next is more alarming.
Rosier said that while he was handcuffed and passive Reza began strangling him.
“As Mr. Rosier is losing oxygen and gasping for air, his knees begin the buckle and he falls into the sand,” according to Sehat. “Instead of loosening the chokehold around my client’s neck, Reza squeezes harder and use his body to push Mr. Rosier’s face and body into the sand. He was extremely scared at this point as he could no longer breathe and suffers from asthma . . . He loses consciousness.”
Fire Department officials rushed Rosier to a hospital emergency room, where doctors saw both of his eyes filled with blood and diagnosed that he suffered “subconjunctival hemorrhaging as the blood vessels in his eyes had burst due to the strangulation.”
Rosier, who claims he’s been mentally and physically scarred, is now seeking damages for excessive force inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, where U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter will preside.
We’ll have to wait to see the officers’ full versions of events as the case proceeds.
It’s not clear if the woman ever got back her shoes.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.