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Camp ranger to seek Christopher Dorner reward in court

Crime, Law and JusticeLaws and LegislationChristopher DornerLos Angeles Police DepartmentJobs and Workplace

 A camp ranger who unsuccessfully sought a $1-million reward in the Christopher Dorner case is asking a judge to temporarily block the release of any funds, according to court records.

Richard Heltebrake, who contends that he deserves the reward, will ask a judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court in downtown L.A. on Friday to grant a temporary restraining order to stop authorities from disbursing the reward money.

Authorities on Tuesday announced that four people would receive a share of the reward for helping law enforcement officers track down the rogue ex-Los Angeles police officer.

FULL COVERAGE: Sweeping manhunt for ex-cop

A panel of three retired judges determined that 80% of the money would go to a couple who were bound and gagged by Dorner in their Big Bear cabin. A ski resort employee was given 15%, and a tow truck driver was allotted 5%, according to a report detailing the judges' decision.

Heltebrake called 911 after he was car-jacked in the Big Bear area on Feb. 12 by Dorner, who took off in Heltebrake's white pickup.

In papers filed in Superior Court, an attorney for Heltebrake argues that his client should receive a "sum not less than one million dollars" and "special damages."

But authorities said Heltebrake was not entitled to reward money because officers were already aware that Dorner was in the area by the time the camp ranger had called 911, according to the 12-page report released by the Los Angeles Police Department.

"Mr. Heltebrake's phone call did not provide information leading to Dorner's capture," the report said. "Law enforcement had already spotted Dorner driving a white pickup."

Jim and Karen Reynolds were alotted the bulk of the reward because they provided information that "directly led to the hot pursuit and capture of Dorner," according to the report.

Karen Reynolds called 911 on Feb. 12 after she and her husband broke free inside their Big Bear condo where Dorner had been hiding, and provided her location and the description of the couple's Nissan SUV that Dorner had stolen.

The call by Reynolds preceded a series of shootouts between Dorner and officers in the final hours before he turned his gun on himself as a fire sparked by tear gas projectiles engulfed the cabin where he had holed up.

"Had Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds failed promptly to escape their restraints and contact law enforcement, it is likely Dorner would have escaped," the report said.

Tow truck driver R. Lee McDaniel confirmed that Dorner was in the Inland Empire after he flagged down police Feb. 7 at a Corona gas station and said that he had spotted the fugitive former officer in his truck moments earlier, the report said.

Hours later, Snow Summit employee Daniel M. McGowan alerted authorities after spotting a burning truck on a rarely used fire road in the Big Bear area. The vehicle turned out to be Dorner's and led authorities to the area where he was ultimately located. 

Dorner, 33, who was fired from the LAPD, was accused of killing four people, including two law enforcement officers, and wounding several others. Authorities launched a sweeping manhunt for the fugitive that covered several states after he allegedly shot an Irvine couple Feb. 3. 

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Crime, Law and JusticeLaws and LegislationChristopher DornerLos Angeles Police DepartmentJobs and Workplace
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