By City News Service
A former Deutsche Bank executive told a federal jury Tuesday that he was beaten and illegally held captive by two Los Angeles police officers, but the defense countered that Brian Mulligan was out of control on "bath salts" and injured when he attacked officers who were trying to help him.
Mulligan, who is La Cañada Flintridge resident, told jurors in his excessive force lawsuit against two LAPD officers that he was walking the night of May 15, 2012, after visiting an Eagle Rock medical marijuana dispensary when he was stopped by the officers, given a field sobriety test, handcuffed for no reason, taken to a Highland Park motel and later beaten with a baton.
Although both sides agree on some aspects of the bizarre story, a defense attorney said in opening statements Mulligan was dangerously out of control on the night of the violent encounter.
After allegedly being discovered by the officers dragging a city trash can down the street and trying to get into a stranger's car, Mulligan became a "growling, frothing, angry man" and lunged at officers James Nichols and John Miller, attorney Denise Zimmerman told the eight-person civil jury in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.
Mulligan, 54, is seeking at least $20 million in damages.
His attorney, Skip Heller, summed up the case for jurors in his opening as "he said/she said. He's going to say they beat me up. They're going to say he attacked them. It's a very simple case."
Heller showed the panel graphic photos of Mulligan's injuries and played police radio calls in which pained screams could be heard in the background. Against defense objections, Heller introduced the bloody shirt his client wore on the night of the incident.
In his opening statement, Heller conceded that, two weeks prior to the incident, Mulligan had taken "bath salts," a designer drug that's been called a synthetic form of methamphetamine. The substance, which could be purchased legally two years ago, is an "energizer," the attorney told the jury.
The suit alleges that "Nichols hit Mulligan in the face with his baton, swinging it like a baseball bat, shattering Mulligan's nose and knocking Mulligan to the pavement. Nichols and Miller then beat Mulligan in the head. Mulligan, bleeding profusely and drifting in and out of consciousness, pleaded with them to stop."
Nichols and Miller are both expected to take the stand. The trial is scheduled for the rest of the week.
Before joining Deutsche Bank, Mulligan held management jobs at Fox Television and Universal Pictures, according to his court papers.