Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ramona teen sues sheriff's deputies for assault, battery

Ramona teen sues sheriff's deputies for assault, battery
June 17, 2011

A 17-year-old Ramona boy has filed a $1 million lawsuit in federa court against San Diego County sheriff's deputies who he says beat and wrongfully arrested him in December 2009.

Ramona lawyer Julie M. Kiehne-Lamkin filed the civil suit in federal court on behalf of the teen, according to court records. Deputies were served with the lawsuit on Monday.

The lawsuit seeks damages for civil rights violations, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It names several sheriff's deputies, the Sheriff's Department, and the county as defendants.

Lt. Julie Sutton, commander of the Ramona Sheriff's Substation, said Tuesday she was aware of the lawsuit. She declined to comment further on the matter, citing department policy against discussing personnel and legal matters.

Kiehne-Lamkin declined Wednesday to comment on the specifics of the case, and said she advised her client against speaking to the media. She said the defendants have until July 5 to respond to the complaint.

According to court records, the teen ---- who is identified in court records as J.K.G. because of federal protections for juveniles ---- was approached by Ramona sheriff's Deputy Thomas Seiver at about 8:10 p.m. Dec. 29, 2009, as he skateboarded in the 1100 block of Main Street.

Seiver stopped J.K.G. because the deputy was investigating reports of a suspicious person tampering with vehicles in the parking lot of Mi Ranchito restaurant, 1028 Main St., according to the records.

Seiver searched the young man, confiscated his cell phone, and then punched the teen in the face twice, according to the court records. The court records say Seiver then choked the teen, threw him to the ground, and "grinded (his) face onto the parking lot pavement."

A video apparently taken shortly after J.K.G. was released to his mother on Dec. 29, 2009, was available Wednesday on

In the video, there are numerous cuts and abrasions on the teen's forehead and nose, and his nose, lips and one of his eyes appears swollen.

According to the records, J.K.G. did not resist Seiver, run from him, or make any attempt to hurt or threaten him.

Another deputy arrived and helped put the bleeding teenager into the back of a patrol vehicle, according to the records.

The deputies took the teen back to Mi Ranchito restaurant where they found no evidence that the young man had tampered with vehicles, according to the court records.

The teen was reportedly booked into the Ramona Sheriff's Substation then released to his mother, according to court records.

Though J.K.G. was bleeding and in pain, the deputies never offered him medical care, the records say.

The lawsuit accuses several deputies of working together to lie about the incident in their official reports.

The teenager was charged with resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer, according to the court records. A judge examined evidence and witnesses at a hearing in juvenile court on June 11, 2010, and dismissed all charges.

Kiehne-Lamkin said she filed a claim with the county that sought damages on her client's behalf, but it was rejected without investigation.

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