Judge denies camp ranger’s request to block Dorner reward payment

A Los Angeles judge on Friday denied a request by a camp ranger carjacked in Big Bear by Christopher Dorner to block the release of $1 million in reward money.

Richard Heltebrake, who unsuccessfully sought the reward, contends he deserves it because his call to 911 helped tip off authorities.

But on Friday, Judge Luis Lavin declined to grant a temporary restraining order that would have stopped authorities from disbursing the money to four people.


Lavin made his decision citing lack of irreparable harm and because Heltebrake had not properly served several parties who may have opposed the order.

Authorities 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. Heltebrake was not one of them.

He was not entitled to the money because officers already were aware Dorner was in the area by the time the camp ranger had called 911, according to a 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.”

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

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 awarded 15% and a tow truck driver 5%, according to a report detailing the judges’ decision.

Heltebrake had filed an initial claim for the reward. But his attorney said that he did not refile under the LAPD’s revised guidelines.


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