Orange County Man Sues Huntington Beach Dealership After Mistakenly Held at Gunpoint by Deputies Over Stolen … – Hoodline

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An Orange County man has filed a lawsuit against a Huntington Beach car dealership after he was mistakenly held at gunpoint by deputies who believed he was driving a stolen car. Jamie Rodgers was pulled over in Laguna Niguel in June 2021 while driving a loaner car from Car Pros Kia Huntington Beach. The dealership had lost the loaner agreement and erroneously reported the vehicle as stolen, resulting in Rodgers’ high-stakes confrontation with law enforcement.

Rodgers, who was on his way to his job as an athletic trainer, told KTLA, “I’m thinking I’m going to get shot. I’m a Black man being pulled over in Orange County. … I’ve heard too many stories of this happening.” A fleet of sheriff’s patrol cars had tailed him, leading to suddenly being stopped and faced with about a dozen officers aiming their guns at him, as they had been mistakenly informed that Rodgers was armed and dangerous.

The situation was de-escalated within 10 minutes once officers realized the report of the stolen vehicle was false, but the impact on Rodgers was enduring. The aftermath of that day led to the loss of his job due to ongoing PTSD, which especially affected him in his working environment. The stress of the encounter was so great that Rodgers had to completely change his career, moving from the athletic world to real estate.

Rodgers’ attorney, Scott Harlan, stated in an interview with the Orange County Register, “He’s had to reinvent himself,” reflecting on the drastic changes his client had to unexpectedly make to his life and career after the incident. The problem with such an intense encounter, Harlan notes, is “an unintentional body movement can lead to death.”

Rodgers recounted the harrowing details of the traffic stop to the Orange County Register: “I’m putting my hands up, they’re telling me to move to my left, but I start moving to my right, out of fear,” he said. “(I said,) all right God, you’ve got to take over, I don’t know what I’m doing right now. I’m about to get shot.” After the ordeal, he claims to suffer from flashbacks whenever he sees police or drives on the same toll road where the incident occurred.

The dealership and its attorney, Christian Scali, have not yet issued a comment regarding the lawsuit or the events that led to it.

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