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Drivers Say Blood Tests Made by Force

Two men claiming they were deprived of their civil rights when Newport Beach police forced them to give blood samples after their arrests for drunk driving filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeking $10 million each in damages. Attorney Stephen Yagman of Los Angeles said that in June five Newport Beach police officers used unnecessary force to restrain Timothy Hammer, 26, of Santa Ana while Hoag Hospital personnel drew his blood. Yagman said that in February five Newport Beach officers assisted by two Huntington Beach policemen “held down . . . and beat up” Steven Bohunis, 26, of Newport Beach while hospital personnel drew blood. Newport Police Capt. James Gardiner confirmed the men were arrested but declined comment other than to say: “It is permissible to withdraw blood forcibly in drunk driving arrests . . . as long as it’s not done in a brutal manner (and) done just to overcome resistance.”


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