Paul McAdams says he left his gym at about 10:30 p.m. on March 14, 2017 and was driving near Fashion Island to his parents’ Corona del Mar home when a dark colored, unmarked SUV began tailing him down several residential streets.
Even though the SUV occupants eventually placed a flashing red light on their dashboard and made signals for him to pull over, a frightened McAdams feared he might be assaulted but nonetheless stopped.
Then he saw a screaming man running at him followed by another man wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans.
“McAdams could not see anything that would indicate that (the two men later identified as Newport Beach cops Alex Maslin and Joseph DeJulio) were peace officers,” attorney Gregory Peacock wrote in a 16-page lawsuit. “Based on their suspicious behavior and attire, McAdams . . . believed that he was possibly being robbed.”
McAdams claims that after a third officer, Randall Parker, arrived, he followed commands to exit his car and was then “brutally” thrown down before Maslin repeatedly tased him in the back while DeJulio and Parker kept him from moving.
Nearby residents heard a man screaming for help and called 911.
Though Peacock says the officers never identified themselves as cops, Maslin—who is president of the Newport Beach police labor union—arrested him for obstructing police from performing their duties, a charge, if proved, could mean spending up to a year in jail.
Prosecutors inside the Orange County district attorney’s office dismissed the case as unworthy of pursuit in January.
McAdams now says he is entitled to compensation for suffering “great” emotional distress.
“The actions of the defendants were committed maliciously, oppressively and in reckless disregard of McAdams’ constitution rights,” Peacock asserts.
Lawyers for the city and the officers have not yet filed a response in court.
The civil case will proceed under the guidance of U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
Maslin and DeJulio graduated together with honors in 2011 from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Academy.
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; 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.