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City of Chico and several police officers facing lawsuit

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Sep 06 2013 08:10:16 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 06 2013 08:39:40 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

A Bay Area man is suing the City of Chico and several Police officers for unreasonable arrest and use of excessive force in a February incident that the man's lawyers also claim might also have been driven by racial motives.

According to the lawsuit, police were called to break up a party on the 300-block of Oak St. in Chico.

Arash Akbarieh, 21, of Danville, and several of his friends were there.

According to his lawyer, Michael Haddad, who is based in Oakland, when Akbarieh moved to go inside the house police saw he had a bottle of liquor tucked in his waste band.

Haddad said police grabbed Akbarieh and demanded he drop the bottle, which the suit claims he was unable to do because officers had pinned his arm behind his back.

"The police came up behind him and without giving him any time to comply with any sort of reasonable order they just slammed him to the ground and piled on and ended up dislocating his knee," Haddad said.

Akbarieh is of Persian descent and speaks with a partial Farsi accent.

Haddad says there may have been a racial motive because one of the officers allegedly said to Akbarieh, "What is that accent? You don't sound American."

Named in the suit are the City of Chico along with Police Chief Kirk Trostle and several other officers.

It seeks an unspecified amount of money for medical expenses and physical and emotional distress.

The Chico City Attorney's Office says they have yet to be served paperwork for the case and cannot comment.

Police Chief Ttrostle says he is unable to comment specifically but they are "looking forward to their day in court."