Anaheim Teen Involved in Altercation with Off-Duty LAPD Officer Files Civil Rights Lawsuit

The 13-year-old Anaheim boy involved in a physical struggle with off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer Kevin Ferguson in February has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Anaheim and the LAPD.

Christian Dorscht claims in his court complaint the dispute began as he and a group of friends were walking home from school and Ferguson used vulgar language to address a female student walking across his lawn.

Dorscht said when he asked Ferguson to address the female student “in a nicer manner,” the officer came off his property, “charging” toward Dorscht and “grabbing his neck, tripping him, and kicking his private area,” according to the complaint.

Cell phone video taken by a bystander shows Dorscht struggling to escape from Ferguson, who was holding onto the boy’s arm and hoodie.

In the video, which does not show the entire altercation, a number of teens urge Ferguson to let go of Dorscht. When one teen tries to pull Dorscht free, another teen shoves Ferguson over a hedge. During the ensuing struggle, the officer pulled a gun from his waistband and a shot is heard, although the video doesn’t clearly show him pulling the trigger.

Dorscht claims the Anaheim Police Department failed to properly respond to the scene when officers hand-cuffed Dorscht and took him into custody, but allowed Ferguson to go free.

The complaint also alleges both the Anaheim and the Los Angeles police departments failed to properly train their departments in the correct use of force.

Reached for comment, both the city of Anaheim and Los Angeles Police Department said they do not comment on ongoing litigation.

The city of Anaheim recently completed its investigation and passed on its materials to the District Attorney’s office, which will determine whether or not to file charges.

“Our thoughts go out to all who were impacted by this incident. We have completed our review of what happened and submitted our findings to the District Attorney’s Office,” said Anaheim city spokesman Mike Lyster in an emailed statement. “We want to respect that process as it plays out.”

Read the full complaint. 

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.