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O.C. sheriff's deputy runs over man's legs

October 21, 2008|Susannah Rosenblatt | Rosenblatt is a Times staff writer.

An Orange County sheriff's deputy ran over a man's outstretched legs before dawn Monday while responding to a call in San Juan Capistrano, authorities said.

The deputy was driving a patrol sport-utility vehicle about 12:15 a.m. to check reports of suspicious people walking in a neighborhood with flashlights near the 31000 block of Peppertree Bend. When he arrived along with a second deputy in a different vehicle, the first deputy "either didn't see . . . or didn't notice" a man sitting, his legs stretched out, on a grassy area next to the curb, Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Don Barnes said.

The deputy "inadvertently drove over" the legs of Michael Alon-Alon, 36, who sustained injuries to at least one leg. Alon-Alon was treated at a hospital and released with no broken bones, Barnes said.

Apparently the group's van had broken down and they were waiting for their boss to arrive and help them, authorities said.

According to officials, the deputy, who was patrolling in the dimly lighted community of custom homes, did not drive up onto the curb.

Although the department declined to release the deputy's name due to the ongoing investigation, Barnes said he was a veteran who had worked for the department for at least 20 years.

Because it was a significant occurrence involving a Sheriff's Department employee, the California Highway Patrol will investigate the incident, Barnes said. There also will be an internal Sheriff's Department review, he said. A review committee will make recommendations based on its assessment and the CHP investigation.

"Obviously . . . it's not just a normal fender-bender," Barnes said.

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