South Bay Digest

Rancho P. V.

June 13, 1985

Charges of resisting arrest and disturbing the peace, filed against a city resident in April, have been dismissed in exchange for the resident's agreement not to pursue a brutality complaint against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Fred Wright, 49, had complained that he was brutalized by deputies from the Lomita sheriff's station when he asked them about the arrest of his son at a party in a condominium clubhouse at Highridge Road and Scotwood Drive on April 19. Rancho Palos Verdes contracts with the Sheriff's Department for police service.

Deputies had been called to the party by two neighbors who complained that they were disturbed by a drunk and disorderly crowd, said Capt. Elmer Omohundro, station commander.

Wright's son, Brett, attended the party and claimed he was struck on the head by a deputy when he asked the deputy for his name and badge number.

Fred Wright told City Council members he was awakened about 10 p.m. by a phone call from Brett's friends, who told him his son had been beaten by deputies and arrested. When he drove to the scene and asked for the watch commander, a deputy twisted his wrist, Wright said. A scuffle ensued, he said, and a deputy tried to choke him from behind with a baton. His face was smashed onto the pavement and his glasses were broken, Wright said.

On April 22 the elder Wright filed a complaint with the city and the department claiming police brutality.

On the recommendation of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, Municipal Judge Benjamin Aranda dismissed charges against Wright of disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. Wright stipulated that there was probable cause to arrest him and agreed not to pursue legal action against the department or the county.

Brett Wright pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace, but a charge of resisting arrest was dismissed. He was ordered to serve one day in county jail and to pay a $204 fine. His jail time was served when he was arrested.

Besides seeking a resolution of his complaint, Wright said he wants to work with the City Council "to try to affect better police service."

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