Kim Nguyen, Pharmacist Who Fell From LAPD Patrol Car, Claims She Was Sexually Assaulted
A graduate student who was caught on camera tumbling out of a moving police car in Los Angeles claims she was being sexually assaulted by her arresting officer.
CBS Los Angeles reports Kim Nguyen, a 27-year-old pharmacist, claims she was handcuffed in the back of a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) cruiser when an officer sexually assaulted her last March 17. Nguyen was arrested shortly after 2am as she stood with two men in front of a Koreatown restaurant waiting for a sober friend to pick them up. That’s when LAPD officers pulled up and took her into custody, allegedly for being drunk. The men were left behind.
In a videotaped deposition, Nguyen claimed the officer in the back seat with her tried to spread her legs open. He also allegedly touched her chest and pulled her by the ear to bring her closer to him.
“He was grabbing my left inner thigh, trying to– I’m assuming– opening my legs,” Nguyen said in the deposition.
Last September, the Los Angeles Times identified the LAPD officers involved in the incident as David Shin and Jin Oh.
A surveillance camera on a building on Olympic Boulevard shows the patrol car approaching the intersection of Grand Avenue at 3:08am. Seconds later, video footage shows Nguyen, still in handcuffs, lying bloodied in the street with her dress removed from the waist down. She awoke from a medically-induced coma six days later in excruciating pain with her mouth wired shut and bruises all over her body. Nguyen and her attorney, Arnaldo Casillas, say her jaw was shattered and she suffered brain bleeding. She required several jaw surgeries and lost all of her teeth. She may still need to undergo risky brain surgery.
It is not clear whether Nguyen jumped from the patrol car to avoid the alleged sexual assault, whether she was pushed out by one of the officers, or if something altogether different occurred. In a lawsuit filed against the LAPD, Nguyen alleges that officers failed to secure her with a seatbelt or properly lock her door, which led to her being ejected from the vehicle.
An incident report filed by paramedics claims officers told them Nguyen fell from the car as it accelerated from an intersection at a speed of 10 miles per hour (16 km/h). But the surveillance video shows the vehicle traveling at what appears to be a much higher speed, crossing the intersection without stopping or slowing down.
“The video shows that the statement that the police officers gave the paramedics is an unabashed, unequivocal lie,” attorney Casillas told reporters last September.
The two officers involved in the incident are under investigation. LAPD would not comment on pending litigation.