Disabled Woman Alleges LACo Deputy Violated Her Civil Rights

Disabled Parking Space Sign

Photo: Chris Jongkind / Moment / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy previously accused of beating a woman while on duty in 2021 was sued Tuesday by a second female who also alleges she was roughed up by the lawman the same year despite her protests that she had pre-existing and disabling hand and wrist injuries.

In addition to Deputy Konrad Thieme, plaintiff Melba Ortega is suing the county, alleging civil rights violations and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. She seeks unspecified damages.

"Defendant Thieme clearly lied for the express purpose of covering up his own criminal conduct and intimidating plaintiff into not asserting her rights," the suit alleges.

An LASD representative could not be immediately reached for comment on the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit.

According to the suit, Ortega was celebrating her 45th birthday and was a passenger in a PT Cruiser driven by her ex-husband when they were stopped by Thieme after the former couple left Neptune's Net seafood restaurant in Malibu on Jan. 16, 2021.

Thieme asked Ortega if she had ever been arrested, the suit states.

"Plaintiff was in a state of shock considering that neither (she) nor her ex-husband was on probation," according to the suit, which further states that her former husband had a valid driver's license, insurance and registration.

Thieme ordered the man out of the vehicle and led him handcuffed to the rear of the car, then told Ortega to get out as well, saying he needed to handcuff her despite her protests that she had disabling and pre-existing pain in her wrists, the suit states.

Thieme denied Ortega's request to video record the stop, claiming that his body camera was turned on, but there is no footage of what happened, according to the suit.

When Ortega told Thieme again that she was disabled and should not be handcuffed, he pulled her hard to the pavement and violently yanked her arms in order to lock the handcuffs excessively tight as the plaintiff cried out, the suit alleges. Ortega is 5 feet tall and weighs about 130 pounds, while Thieme is about 6 feet, 3 inches and weighs some 270 pounds, the suit states.

Other deputies arrived and one of them loosened Ortega's handcuffs after initially refusing her request that they do so, the suit states. Another deputy began driving the plaintiff to a hospital, telling her that she was to undergo a blood test because Thieme falsely said she was using drugs, the suit states.

Ortega was taken from the hospital and later booked at a sheriff's station, where two deputies documented the injuries on Ortega's  knees and hands and recorded a detailed statement from her, the suit states. She spent the night in jail and after she was released, her ex-spouse took her to an urgent care facility for medical attention, the suit states.

Ortega later appeared in court and a judge told her to attend 12 counseling sessions and do 40 hours of community service even though she tested negative in the hospital for drugs, the suit states.

Thieme's handcuffing of Ortega aggravated her pain to her wrists and hands and she had to miss some work time, the suit states. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, often suffers from insomnia and has nightmares about possibly being stopped by law enforcement, the suit states.

Thieme, 38, is awaiting a preliminary hearing on allegations he assaulted a second woman, Sarah Jabari, and fired a stun gun at the diminutive woman while on duty at the victim's mother's home in April 2021. He also allegedly wrote a false report about the encounter with Jabari, who has a history of psychiatric problems and was showing erratic behavior the day of the encounter that prompted her mother to call deputies, the suit states.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content