Ali Badr, a 42-year-old former social worker originally from Egypt, said CarMommy reported his rental stolen because he’d missed a single payment–even though he’d already called the company to inform them he’d be a couple days late. When police caught up to Badr, they set a K-9 on him almost immediately.
An Oakland man has filed a lawsuit claiming he was mauled by a California police department’s K-9 after officers tried arresting him based off erroneous information.
According to NBC News, 42-year-old Ali Badr’s civil lawsuit names as plaintiffs the California city of San Ramon, Police Chief Craig Stevens, and seven individual officers.
On December 20, 2020, Badr was driving a rented 2017 Toyota Camry. The car, says NBC, was then reported stolen.
However, Badr’s attorney says that his client had only fallen behind on a payment.
Badr’s lawsuit, says The Guardian, also names car rental companies HyreCar and CarMommy as defendants.
In an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, Badr told reporters that he had been renting his Toyota from CarMommy, which contracts with HyreCare to provide vehicles to rideshare drivers.
While his rental contract included a provision allowing for the vehicle to be reported stolen if the company did not receive payments timely, Badr says he had communicated with the car’s owner, informing them that his finances were tight but that he was planning to pay shortly, as he had always done in the past.
Nevertheless, CarMommy CEO and co-founder John Blomeke reported the car stolen, after which San Ramon police officers located and attempted to detain Badr.
While his attorney says that Badr was following law enforcement orders, Officer John Cattolico released a police dog and directed it to attack Badr.
Once the K-9 reached Badr, it latched onto his arm and bit him, uninterrupted, for about one minute.
“With the K-9 still latched onto BADR, ripping and tearing at his arm and hand while BADR screaming in pain, CATTOLICO walked toward Plaintiff while removing his service weapon and pointing it directly at BADR’s face,” the lawsuit says.
Badr’s complaint claims that Cattolico then grabbed Badr’s left arm—while the dog was still latched onto the other arm—and threw the 42-year-old Uber driver onto the ground.
Several other officers then assisted Cattolico in “restraining” Badr.
“The police K-9 was allowed to continue biting the Plaintiff for over 59 seconds,” the lawsuit states.
NBC News notes that all of the officers named as defendants had pointed their firearms at Badr during the traffic stop—and that none tried to call the dog off.
San Ramon’s city attorney, Martin Lysons, told NBC News that the city has opened an internal investigation into Badr’s arrest.
“The injuries sustained by Ali Badr are a matter of great concern to the City of San Ramon and its Police Department,” Lysons told NBC News, “and we wish Mr. Badr a speedy return to his normal life.”
“The City,” Lysons said, “has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens and their property and takes this responsibility very seriously.”
Badr has claimed “permanent and extensive” damages to his arm and leg, and is now “undergoing substantial mental health treatment and therapy.”