SURFER SHOT AT AMID EX-LAPD COP HUNT FILES LAWSUIT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A surfer who was shot at by police during the manhunt for rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner has filed a lawsuit against a Los Angeles suburb and its police department.
David Perdue, 38, was driving his black Honda pickup early Feb. 7 on his way to pick up a friend to go surfing when he was stopped by officers looking for Dorner, an ex-Los Angeles police officer who had promised to bring "warfare" to his former department's officers and their families.
Authorities say Dorner killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, during a weeklong rampage that involved a massive manhunt and ended with his apparent suicide in a mountain cabin following a gunbattle with police.
At the time officers stopped Perdue, authorities believed Dorner was driving a pickup, although it was a different make and color than Perdue's truck.
The officers who stopped Perdue asked him a few questions, then told him to turn around and go back the way he came, according to the lawsuit.
Soon after, a second police car driving toward him accelerated to 25-30 mph "without any warning," and rammed his pickup, spinning him around and tearing off the rear axle. Air bags deployed and Perdue's upper body was jolted over the center console, he says in his complaint.
Perdue says the two officers fired at least three bullets into the open driver's side window, sending them into the side air bags, past his head and through the front windshield.
Perdue was ordered out of the pickup with a gun to his head and forced to lie face-down on the pavement. He was detained for an hour.
The suit notes that Perdue, who is white, was much shorter and smaller and looked nothing like Dorner, who was black.
LA CITY COUNCIL TENTATIVELY BANS PLASTIC BAGS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday tentatively approved a ban on plastic grocery bags, with a final vote scheduled for next week.
The ban would apply to convenience stores, supermarkets and large retailers that sell perishable foods, such as Wal-Mart. It would make Los Angeles the largest city in the nation to pass such an ordinance.
The council voted 11-1 in favor of the ban. Since it failed to earn unanimous approval, the ordinance must face a second vote.
Under the measure, stores would be prohibited from handing out single-use bags and would pay fines ranging from $100 to $500 for violations. Shoppers would have to bring their own reusable bags or pay 10 cents for each paper bag.
The ordinance would take effect Jan. 1 for large stores, while smaller stores will have until July 2014 to comply.
COUPLE GUILTY IN MURDER OF MOTHER OF 2-MONTH-OLD: PLANADA (AP) — A California couple is facing prison time after juries convicted them of luring an acquaintance to their home and strangling her to kidnap her 2-month-old boy.
Two juries deliberated the murder case against 34-year-old Maria Robles and 38-year-old Jose Velarde.
Velarde's jury convicted him late Monday of second-degree murder in the December 2010 slaying of 26-year-old Ana DeCeja.
Robles is facing life without parole after her jury found her guilty of first-degree murder Friday.
Authorities say the couple confessed to luring DeCeja and her baby to the couple's home and then strangling the mother. They panicked and abandoned the baby after media reported the incident.
The baby was reunited with his father after the child was found on a doorstep.
AETNA TO STOP SELLING INDIVIDUAL PLANS IN CALIF.: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Aetna Inc. will stop selling individual health insurance policies in California next month, just weeks after opting out of the exchange that is being established as part of the national health care reforms, a state regulator said Tuesday.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said he was disappointed in Aetna's decision because consumers need more choices. The decision does not affect people who have Aetna insurance through their employer.
Aetna is a relatively small player in California's individual health insurance market. According to 2011 figures compiled by the California HealthCare Foundation, Aetna has about 5 percent of the state's individual health market. By comparison, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Kaiser share 87 percent.
CALIF. LOCKING UP FAR FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE: SACRAMENTO (AP) — California is a national leader in reducing the number of juvenile offenders incarcerated in state and county lockups, according to a study advocacy groups released Tuesday.
Driven by budget cuts, lawsuits and research, the state has taken steps that helped reduce the number of youths in correctional facilities by 41 percent between 2000 and 2010. Fewer than 9,800 youths were in state and county custody by 2010, down from a peak of 17,551 in 2000. The number continues to drop.
State juvenile centers hold just 724 of the most violent or predatory youth in three facilities, down from about 10,000 incarcerated by what was then the California Youth Authority during its peak more than a decade ago.
The report by the National Juvenile Justice Network and the Texas Public Policy Foundation says California is one of nine states leading the nation in reducing youth incarceration. Its study focused on those ages 10 to 17.