Unarmed Man Shot In The Back Sues Santa Ana Police

A 29-year-old, unarmed man shot in the back and seriously wounded by Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers in a March 2013 incident that left another man dead has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the agency and two cops.

In a complaint filed this week, attorney Federico C. Sayre claims SAPD officers Peter Picone and John Rodriguez used excessive, lethal force to prevent his client, Travis Mock, from fleeing the scene on foot after a police pursuit on the 5 freeway and Grand Avenue.

“Plaintiff Mock did not consent to being touched with bullets from the defendant's firearms,” Sayre wrote. “A reasonable person in Mock's situation would have been offended by the touching.”


The bullet wounds caused serious physical pain and suffering, and require compensation that wasn't specified in the lawsuit, according to Sayre, who believes SAPD has a practice of engaging in illegal shootings.

Jason Hallstrom, a 41-year-old passenger in Mock's vehicle, was shot and killed by police.

Mock is apparently a bullet magnet. Two years before the SAPD shooting, Anaheim Police Department officer Tim Schmidt shot him while he was standing unarmed on the street where he lived.

Tony Rackauckas' Orange County District Attorney's office cited Mock's criminal record and ultimately declined to hold Schmidt accountable for allegedly abusing his police powers.

In the latest drama prompted by Mock's unlawful taking of a vehicle, SAPD lawyers have not yet filed a response and inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana a presiding judge hasn't been named.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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.

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