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Woman sues LAPD after falling out of patrol car

September 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A woman is suing the Los Angeles Police Department for negligence after she fell out of a patrol car in March, suffering multiple injuries.

Kim Nguyen says she suffered serious head and facial injuries and spent six days in a coma after falling or jumping from the back seat of a police squad car.

"I woke up with my mouth wired shut. I had bruises all over," said Nguyen.

The 28-year-old woman had gone out to dinner with friends in Koreatown and later to a club on March 27.

"She had been drinking and didn't want to drive home. She and two other friends waited for the designated driver to come back," said Arnold Casillas, Nguyen's attorney.

Nguyen says she was walking to a nearby coffee shop when two LAPD officers pulled up and arrested her for being intoxicated in public.

"They put me into handcuffs and took me into their custody," she said.

Surveillance video from the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown shows the squad car carrying Nguyen driving through the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Grand Avenue. A second squad car then turns and follows.

Moments later, the video shows Nguyen injured on the street.

Casillas questions the statement the officers involved gave to paramedics.

"They had accelerated from a stop when they heard the door open and that the patient presumably had jumped or fallen from the patrol car," said Casillas. "The video shows that the statement that the police officers gave the paramedics is an unabashed, unequivocal lie."

Nguyen says she doesn't remember all the details of what happened that night. The LAPD is not commenting on the case.

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