Judge Says Laguna Cops Immune From Elderly Woman's Excessive Force Claim

Laguna Beach police officers were in the Los Angeles County city of Rowland Heights the evening of June 4, 2011, investigating a stink bomb incident that took place in Laguna in which a Rowland Heights man was allegedly a part of.

At least four LBPD officers, including Natalie Leal and Robert Rahaeuser, traveled to Rowland Heights to conduct a raid of the man's home, according to this OC Weekly story by investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley.

The officers didn't find the man, but instead, answering the door was the man's mother, Marilyn Injeyan, a 5-foot-3, 125-pound, 71-year-old retired school teacher who had no criminal record. 

Moxley takes it from there:

"(O)fficers donning ballistic vests and pointing flashlights and assault weapons stormed inside.

Sgt. Robert Rahaeuser, then a 60-year-old department veteran of more than three decades, ordered a stunned Injeyan to stand back and she immediately complied.

But the heavily-armed Rahaeuser, who'd later claim he considered the unarmed, elderly woman a real threat to his safety, grabbed the lady's arms, forced them behind her back and twisted them up while handcuffing her.

The sudden, unexpected force caused Injeyan to wet her pants and left her suffering large, torn rotator cuff injuries in both shoulders that required multiple, costly surgeries as well as extensive rehabilitation."

Injeyan eventually filed suit against the city in May 2012, seeking $290,000 in damages.

This past Wednesday, a judge ruled against Injeyan in favor of the Laguna Beach Police, and, making things worse for Injeyan, she was ordered to pay the LBPD's legal bills incurred during the case, unless she can prove she's unable to.

You can read Moxley's full story here, and you can read Injeyan's original complaint filed against the city here


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