Man seeks $1M in alleged assault

A Belmont Shores man is asking for $1 million in damages, claiming a Huntington Beach police officer assaulted him, but officials call the allegations "unfounded."

Philip DeLuca, 44, filed a claim Nov. 3 against the city stating he suffered emotional distress from the alleged incidents. A claim is the precursor to a lawsuit.

City spokeswoman Laurie Payne said officials are investigating the claim and no action has been taken.

DeLuca was at his ex-wife's house May 4 in the 6300 block of Camille Drive in Huntington Beach to check out his property and decide how to move it out, according to the claim.

The former wife had a restraining order against DeLuca and called the police when he showed up, causing a disturbance, police Lt. Russell Reinhart said in a statement.

DeLuca was agitated, emotional and swearing when officers arrived, Reinhart said. Officers tried to calm him down, but when he balled up his fists while facing them, an officer took out his baton, he said.

The officer ordered DeLuca to back down, which he did, and officers didn't have to make physical contact with him or arrest him, Reinhart said.

But DeLuca alleges in the claim that one of the officers assaulted him and filed a fake police report libeling him.

According to the claim, the incident caused DeLuca to suffer severe emotional distress and injury to his psyche.

Officials have no comment about the alleged injury, but did look into the incident after it happened, Reinhart said.

"The Police Department looked into this matter back in May 2010 and talked to the many witnesses at the scene," he said. "We advised Philip DeLuca the officers' actions were lawful and reasonable and his allegations were unfounded."

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