Woman claims officer hit her with car

A Huntington Beach woman who says she was hit crossing the street by a police officer who was speeding and talking on his cell phone has filed a $500,000 claim against the city.

The Police Department denied the allegations, saying the officer's car never struck the woman.

Catherine Sanchez, 47, said she was struck by an officer who was driving too fast and wasn't paying attention when she was crossing Main Street downtown on a green light at about 6 p.m. May 30, according to the Sept. 19 claim filed by her attorney, Dyke Huish.

Sanchez's son, Christopher Sanchez, allegedly yelled to her and pulled her out of the way before impact, but she alleges that she was hit on the left side of her body, leaving her in pain and her back bruised, the claim said.

When the officer stopped, he didn't offer to help the woman or her son, but instead yelled at them to get out of the way and left the scene, according to the claim.

"I don't think that police officers should be on their cell phones," Huish said. "I don't think that when they hit people, they should be allowed to drive away."

Police Chief Ken Small said a police report was not taken because the woman was not hit by a squad car and the officer did not leave the scene.

Sgt. Jim McLean, the officer's supervisor, responded to the incident but didn't take a report.

"She didn't say that she was hit by the police car, and there were other witnesses who also said she was not hit by the police car, so we did not take a traffic accident report," Small said.

In addition to her injuries, the claim states Sanchez suffered from emotional distress.

Small said the earliest medical records related to her injuries were dated the middle of June, at least two weeks after the accident.

Sanchez's attorney would not say when exactly Sanchez sought medical help, but said it was soon after the alleged accident.


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