911 call reveals escalation of 2010 incident sparked by police mistake

SAN DIEGO - A frantic 911 call is shedding light on a police mistake that turned a lunch date into a showdown with officers.

A judge recently ruled that the ugly incident in March 2010 in City Heights was sparked by an illegal action by police.

In the 911 call, which is part of court filings, Shannon Robinson is heard talking to a 911 operator. She placed the call from inside a parked Pontiac Sunfire as she sat with her fiancé Dante Harrell and a friend.

"Hi. What's going on there?" asks the 911 operator.

"I have a couple of your officers ... they have stopped me," says Robinson.

Harrell says she called 911 to ask for a supervisor after he was questioned by the officers, followed by 15 minutes of waiting.

In a summary judgment, the court ruled the officers made an illegal stop.

"He stopped me by mistake … pushed his button and my license plate came back as a Honda," said Robinson.

Harrell said the officers admitted to typing in a wrong letter during a routine license plate check, but wanted to check them out anyways. He said after the 911 call was made, the officers tried to grab the phone.        

"I have your supervisor on the phone," exclaims Robinson in the 911 call. "I'm talking to your supervisor on the phone. Get your hands off me."

Harrell said what is not heard in the 911 call is what one officer said next.

"'They're on the phone with our supervisor, isn't that childish? I'm about to OC them,'" Harrell told 10News.

"OC" is another term for pepper spray.

About the same time, the 911 operator is heard saying a supervisor is on the way and attempts to end the call.

"They pepper-sprayed me," said Robinson on the call.

"Ma'am, you need to disconnect,” responded the 911 operator.

"They pepper-sprayed me and my husband!" said Robinson.

Harrell said the two were pepper-sprayed before he was Tasered repeatedly. He said both he and Robinson were taken to the ground.

The phone, in the backseat, was still on recording the chaos.

Julia Yoo represents both Robinson and Harrell.

"These 911 tapes reveal just a desperate plea on part of a citizen who was being wronged," she said. "It was all about desperation and for survival."  

Those pleas will be front and center at a September trial when a jury decides whether excessive force was used.

The judge also ruled police made an illegal arrest of Robinson.

The two officers, Ariel Savage and Daniel McClain, remain on the force. An internal affairs probe was completed. Police declined to talk about any discipline they faced, citing personnel matters.

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