A Burbank Superior Court jury has found that six Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies did not violate the civil rights of a Montrose man jailed three years ago for resisting arrest.
The jury deliberated for three days before rejecting a $5-million civil suit filed by Thomas Alan, in which he charged civil rights violations, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Neither Alan nor his attorney, Michael J. Schiff, could be reached for comment. Schiff was in New York and heard the verdict Friday via a telephone connection to the courtroom.
James Rosen, a private attorney hired by the county to represent the deputies, said he was pleased by the verdict.
"It's nice every once in a while, despite the bad publicity the Sheriff's Department has gotten recently, that the jury came to a decision that was well reasoned," Rosen said.
Rosen said that before the three-week trial, Superior Court Commissioner Milton L. Most agreed to a defense motion to bar any references before the jury to the videotaped police beating of Rodney G. King.
Alan's civil suit stemmed from an incident in October, 1988, when sheriff's deputies investigated a report of a man in the street with a gun. According to Rosen, the deputies stopped Alan because he matched a description of the man.
A scuffle ensued, and Alan was taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest.
No gun was found. Rosen said Alan pleaded no contest to the resisting arrest charge, but did not immediately know what sentence Alan had received.