Officers were reportedly responding to a “shots fired” call when they saw a black pick-up truck (pictured) and shot at it. The driver, Redondo resident David Perdue, was not hit. Photo by Rachel Reeves
When Redondo Beach man David Perdue loaded his surfboard into his truck last Thursday morning, he couldn’t have anticipated being blindsided and fired at by Torrance Police officers on his way to the beach.
But that, Perdue’s attorney Robert Sheahen told Easy Reader, is exactly what happened.
Perdue, who has a wife and two kids and works as a baggage handler at LAX, was headed to the beach when an officer in a Torrance Police vehicle flagged him down and asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood. Perdue offered his identification card and explained he was going surfing, and the officer sent him on his way.
Within 10 seconds, Sheahen said, a second Torrance Police car “rammed David’s truck and spun him around.” According to Sheahen, the vehicle “broadsided” Perdue without any warning on Beryl and Flagler – technically Torrance, but on the Redondo Beach border – at approximately 5:15 a.m. Thursday morning.
“It’s lucky that the officers and David were not all killed in the impact of the crash; it was that serious. The police were acting like lunatics,” Sheahen said.
Officers then fired three shots through the windshield of Perdue’s truck, reportedly on the assumption he was murder suspect Christopher Dorner, the ex-cop who has become the subject of a region wide manhunt.
All shots fired missed Perdue.
Sheahen said the police then ordered Perdue out of his truck and “face down on the ground.”
“At some point [the police] realized he wasn’t a 270 pound black man but a 160 pound [white] man,” Sheahen said.
According to a press release written and distributed by Torrance Sgt. Chris Roosen, officers “heard shots fired coming from the area of Sunnyglen Park in the City of Torrance, in proximity to where members of the Los Angeles Police Department was providing protective services related to the regional law enforcement effort to capture murder suspect Christopher Dorner.
“As Torrance Police Officers responded to the location, they observed a truck suddenly leaving the area matching a similar description of suspect Christopher Dorner’s vehicle. A Torrance Police patrol unit, occupied by two officers, encountered the black truck, collided with the vehicle, and an officer involved shooting occurred,” the press release said.
The release offered “thoughts and prayers” to all those who “have been affected by Christopher Dorner’s actions.”
Sheahen said it is likely his client will sue the Torrance Police Department.
“We have to assume it’s going to go that way,” he said.
Sheahen said Perdue suffered a concussion and injuries to his shoulder and arm and has been out of work.
“It’s outrageous. It’s unconscionable… To say they [the police] were over zealous is such an understatement. They were totally out of control,” Sheahen said.
The incident is being investigated by the Special Operations Bureau and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. In a separate incident, L.A.P.D. officers fired and hit two people, a 71-year-old woman and her daughter, delivering L.A. Times newspapers in Torrance that same morning. The L.A.P.D. has called that incident a “tragic misinterpretation” and said the officers who fired were under “incredible tension” in their pursuit of Dorner. ER