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Man shot at by Torrance police during Dorner manhunt files lawsuit

David Perdue, the man shot at by police after being mistaken for rogue ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.
David Perdue, the man shot at by police after being mistaken for rogue ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.
Courtesy NBC4

The man who was mistakenly shot at by Torrance police during the search for ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner has filed a federal lawsuit against the department.

David Perdue of Redondo Beach is suing the City of Torrance and its police department for civil rights violations.

Torrance police deliberately crashed into Perdue’s black truck on Feb. 7 and fired three shots at him, believing that he was Dorner. Police that night were looking for Dorner who was said to be driving a dark grayish Nissan pickup truck.

"As a result of the ramming and shooting, David is in constant pain," the lawsuit states. "He now moves slowly and unsteadily."

Perdue’s attorney and the Torrance city attorney tried to reach an agreement on a possible settlement Thursday during a four-hour mediation hearing. He said the city offered to pay the Blue Book value for the Perdue’s Honda Ridgeline truck but his attorney Robert Sheahen sought more.

“Torrance continues to stonewall this entire process,” Sheahen said.

Sheahen said his client still suffers physically from the vehicle crash. He said Perdue has lost his job as an airport baggage handler. His wife Lizzette Perdue told reporters Tuesday that he can barely play and interact with their two children, 3 and 6 years old.

"He is the most hands on dad," she said. "This has affected our children which is the hardest part."

Sgt. Robert Watt told KPCC in May that the Torrance police chief reached out to Perdue shortly after the shooting to apologize. Watt also said the LAPD has a similar mistaken shooting involving two newspaper delivery workers nearly at the same time, a couple blocks over.

"The City of Torrance understands the public concern and the severity of the unfortunate incident that occurred involving Mr. Perdue and officers with the Torrance Police Department," the department said Tuesday in a written statement. "We are hopeful that a resolution can be reached soon."

The night before the shooting, Irvine police announced that Dorner was a double homicide suspect. A manhunt was underway and hundreds of cops were deployed across Southern California to protect certain LAPD personnel named by Dorner as possible targets in his manifesto. One of them lives in Torrance.

Perdue was stopped by Torrance police and after some questioning, the copss told Perdue to make a U-turn out of the neighborhood and go back. Perdue complied. But moments later, a Torrance police car rammed into his truck and three bullets were fired at him, according to reports.

Perdue was not hit by the bullets.

This story has been updated.