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Man's Arrest Based on False Information Results in Settlement with City of Los Angeles, LAPD

by Christopher Zoukis

 Robert Craig Bell, who was arrested and jailed based on information that later was found to be false, agreed to a settlement with the city of Los Angeles and two LAPD officers.

     On May 8, 2008, LAPD Detective Dennis Derr and Officer Torres arrested Bell, based on information from a minor, for attempted kidnapping with the intent of committing a sex crime. A search of Bell's home and vehicle followed. When the minor's information was subsequently found to be false, the charge was dropped and Bell released.

     Bell filed a complaint in federal court against Derr, Torres and the city of Los Angeles, alleging false arrest, unreasonable seizure, deprivation of due process and illegal search in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. He maintained that the entire incident caused him severe emotional distress, and he suffered physical pain while handcuffed.

     Bell sought damages for lost income, bail paid, attorney's fees, pain, suffering and emotional distress. He also sought special and exemplary damages. On January 18, 2012, the parties reached a settlement agreement, and the case was dismissed by Judge A. Howard Matz on January 25, 2012. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

 See: Bell v. The City of Los Angeles, et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. 2:10-cv-05823-AHM-JCG (Jan. 25, 2012)

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