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Man files lawsuit over arrest by officers

May 04, 2011

A man who claims two Huntington Beach police officers choked and arrested him has filed a lawsuit against the city.

Kevin Anastasi said Officers Keith Smith and John Turner drew their guns on him, choked him until he became unconscious, then falsely arrested him after he called 911 about loose dogs.

Anastasi said in the complaint filed April 14 that he held a metal pole to protect himself from the dogs.

Lt. Russell Reinhart said Anastasi told the dispatcher he had a handgun and was going to handle the situation himself. When police arrived, Anastasi was found intoxicated, agitated and holding a steel pipe, Reinhart said.

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After the officers repeatedly asked him to drop the steel pipe, Anastasi threw it at the officers and it landed at their feet, Reinhart said.

The officers wanted to ensure that Anastasi did not possess a handgun, but he would not cooperate, resisted and threw punches at the officers, Reinhart said.

He was eventually restrained, handcuffed and taken into custody. The officers did not choke him, Reinhart said. When police first arrived at the scene, the dogs, who belonged to a neighbor, had gone back to their own backyard.

Anastasi said he suffered embarrassment and loss of wages, and had to pay medical expenses.

—Mona Shadia

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