Loading...
Crime

Mark Mundell: Lawsuit Claims Simi Valley K-9 Cop Let Dog Savage Him and Showed Photos of it to Taunt Him

Comments (0)

By

Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM
click to enlarge k_9_photo.jpg

Mark Mundell was sitting in his pickup truck outside of the Best Buy store in Porter Ranch when he heard a policeman shouting his name, demanding that he put his hands in the air.

As he did, the Simi Valley Police Department K-9 officer, Richard Wiggington, who apparently has a history of not controlling his dog, swung open the passenger door. He then let his canine, Taz, inside the truck and shut the door.

The next thing Mundell remembers is the dog sinking its teeth into his thigh.

All this is according to a lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles federal court by Mundell against Wiggington and the City of Simi Valley. Mundell claims that he tried to defend himself, but Wiggington threatened to shoot him if Mundell touched the dog.

Mundell says he pleaded with Wiggington to help, and finally the officer controlled his animal.

However, Wiggington then "maliciously directed Taz to bite, puncture and tear at [Mundell's] body," states the lawsuit. Mundell says he fell out of his truck, the dog still biting him, and that Wiggington did not tell Taz to relent until Mundell was in handcuffs.

After Mundell was taken to the hospital, he was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest in Ventura County, where he pleaded no contest. The incident, however, occurred in Los Angeles County, a separate jurisdiction, so several months later the conviction was erased on a technicality.

You'd think the story ends there, but it doesn't. Mundell claims in the lawsuit that after he was attacked, Wiggington and other police officers from Simi Valley continued to threaten and harass him, showing him photos of the dog attack.

"When they saw [Mundell] around town," Mundell's attorney, Thomas Beck, tells LA Weekly, "they showed him pictures of how the dog was biting him. They took cell phone photographs while this dog was mauling away on the guy."

This is not the first time Beck has sued Wiggington over the control of his dog.

In 2004, Heriberto and Esmeralda Morales were at a wedding at the Simi Valley Boys & Girls Club when the police were called due to a fight near the party. Wiggington was among the officers who responded, and at one point, his dog bit Heriberto Morales.

Beck says he settled the case for around $250,000.

"It's the same cop, different dog," says Beck. "Wiggington is a sadist."

No one at the Simi Valley Police Department was immediately available for comment.

UPDATE: A Simi Valley police spokesman says the police department cannot comment on the allegations due to the pending litigation.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.