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O.C. woman says she was hit by speeding cop talking on phone

September 23, 2011 | 10:07 am

A Huntington Beach woman wants the city to pay her $500,000 after getting hit by what she said was a reckless and speeding police officer talking on his cellphone.

The Huntington Beach Police Department has denied the allegations.

Catherine Sanchez, 47, said she was struck by an officer who was speeding and wasn't paying attention while crossing Main Street on a green light around 6 p.m. May 30, according to the claim, which was filed Monday by Sanchez's attorney, Dyke Huish, the Huntington Beach Independent reported.

Sanchez's son, Christopher Sanchez, yelled to her and pulled her out of the way before a full impact, but she was hit on the left side of her body, causing bruising and pain to her back, the claim said.

When the officer stopped, he didn't offer to help the woman or her son, but instead yelled at them to get out of the way and left the scene, according to the claim.

"I don't think that police officers should be on their cellphones," Huish said. "I don't think that when they hit people, they should be allowed to drive away."

Police Chief Ken Small said a police report was not taken because the woman was not hit and the officer did not leave the scene. Sgt. Jim McLean, the officer's supervisor, responded to the incident but didn't take a report.

"She didn't say that she was hit by the police car, and there were other witnesses who also said she was not hit by the police car, so we did not take a traffic accident report," Small said.

Sanchez was told she could file a claim and/or a complaint if she wished.

In addition to her injuries, the claim states Sanchez suffered from emotional distress from the incident.

Small said the earliest medical records related to her injuries were dated the middle of June.

Sanchez's attorney would not say when exactly Sanchez sought medical help, but said it was right away.


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-- Mona Shadia, Times Community News