A former banking and Hollywood executive testified in court Tuesday that he was not under the influence of bath salts when, as he claims in his use-of-force lawsuit, he was badly beaten during a confrontation with two Los Angeles police officers.
La Cañada resident Brian Mulligan, the former vice chairman of Deutsche Bank and former co-chairman of Universal Pictures, who sued the LAPD, testified in the first day of his trial that an encounter with Officers James Nichols and John Miller in Eagle Rock in 2012 left him with 15 broken bones in his face and 54 stitches and required several surgeries, the Los Angeles Times reports.
But Denise Zimmerman, an attorney for one of the officers, told jurors Mulligan was snarling and thrashing and stiffened his finger like claws. Mulligan admitted in an interview with Glendale police two days before the arrest to having used drugs known as bath salts 20 times, she said.
She told jurors that later that night, the same officers saw Mulligan screaming and dragging a metal trash can in the street. He made a lewd gesture and tried to open the door of a minivan driven by a woman, Zimmerman said.
Mulligan charged at the officers, who then pushed him to the ground and struck him on the torso with a baton, Zimmerman said. His injuries were the result of a fall, and there never was a baton strike to the head, she said.
The incident began shortly before 1 a.m. May 16, 2012, when the two officers responded to reports of a man trying to get into locked cars near Occidental College and found Mulligan.
The former executive testified Tuesday that on the day of the confrontation he had been to an Eagle Rock marijuana dispensary for pills to help him sleep but had been questioned by an unknown officer near the store. The officer sent him to an apartment complex, Mulligan said, and fearing for his safety, he ran off to Occidental College, the only place he knew in the area.
Mulligan also testified that although he had used bath salts in the past, he had not used them in the two weeks before his arrest. He also testified that he was only "running for his life" from the officers because he claimed that earlier that evening near the college, officers had detained him and warned him that if he left, he would be dead.
He recalled how an officer's baton fractured his nose, broke his shoulder blade and shattered his life.
"Boom, my whole nose was splattered. It was the worst pain I have ever felt," he testified, describing an alleged blow from Nichols' baton.
Holding up his blood-soaked shirt, Mulligan called the encounter "a nightmare night, a very scary night that continues today."
-- Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times