Huntington Beach Police Strangulation Case Lands in Federal Court

Huntington Beach pier (photo by Sergio/Berkeley at Creative Commons)

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.

CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott 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; earned six dozen other reporting awards; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.

3 Replies to “Huntington Beach Police Strangulation Case Lands in Federal Court”

  1. This is similar to an event that happened to me .I am a 47 year old woman who has had many surgeries from a gunshot wound to the head. as a result I M paralized in my left arm. I was sitting on a curb with my boyfriend and he had his shirt off.. it’s the beach for Christ sakes. when a hb officer came up and I knew I had a. warrant so we started to walk away when he yelled at us to sit down.after running our names turns out I was right I had a warrant but my boyfriend didn’t so my boyfriend knowing that I was going to be arrested and knowing my me and my left arm told the cop plesde not hurt her cuz she can’t move her arms behind her back when you handcuff her. They ignored him and proceeded to pull my hand behind my back and i screamed when I screamed my boyfriend yelled but made no movement and said don’t hurt her that’s when they proceeded to tackle us both to the ground and yelled stop resisting stop resisting. The female officer who tackled me to the ground laughed about it while she was on me and said I can do this all day I ended up getting charged misdemeanor assault on a police officer which I foolishly plead guilty to did not want to remain in jail for longer than I was I want to see these were the worst cops I’ve ever experienced. Something needs to be done about the unprofessionalism of these officers.

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