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LCF resident, former Hollywood exec calls LAPD run-in a 'nightmare'

January 23, 2014|By Richard Winton | By Richard Winton

A onetime Deutsche Bank executive and former co-chair of Universal Pictures testified in court Wednesday that he had taken bath salts 20 times prior to his run-in with Los Angeles police — but that it did not make him paranoid.

Brian Mulligan has sued the Los Angeles Police Department for excessive force. The La Cañada Flintridge resident took the stand in the trial, which began this week, testifying that an officer's baton fractured his nose and broke his shoulder blade, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mulligan said the last time he took the synthetic drug he called "white lightning" was two weeks prior to the May 2012 encounter with police.

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On Wednesday, two Los Angeles police officers took the stand and disputed his testimony. A third officer who responded to the call and a medical expert for the city are expected to testify Thursday. 

The officers denied that they beat Mulligan with a baton. One said he wasn't even carrying one during the confrontation in Highland Park as Mulligan has alleged.

"I have never once used my baton in my 13 years of being a police officer," Officer James Nichols said. He said he left the baton in his police cruiser after jumping out to pursue a screaming and delusional Mulligan on foot.

Mulligan testified this week that Nichols broke his nose in 15 places with a baton strike, and that the officers broke his shoulder blade during a beating at Avenue 54 and Meridian Avenue.

It was "a nightmare night, a very scary night that continues today," he testified.

Answering questions from Mulligan's attorney, Louis "Skip" Miller, Nichols and his partner, Officer John Miller, testified that they don't know exactly how Mulligan suffered his injuries.

The officers told jurors that they detained Mulligan about 10:40 p.m. May 15 after reports of a man trying to get into cars near Occidental College. They determined that Mulligan was not under the influence of illegal narcotics but testified that he told them he had consumed a legal drug known as bath salts — a synthetic stimulant designed to be like cocaine or methamphetamine — four days before and had not slept since. 

With their supervisor's approval, the officers left Mulligan at a Highland Park motel to sleep it off, they said. But within hours, they testified, Mulligan was tossing a metal trash can into the street, and the officers again responded to the scene.

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