Businessman files lawsuit against San Diego police, claims wrongful arrest

SAN DIEGO - A businessman has filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Police Department, claiming he was wrongfully arrested because he refused to answer an officer's questions.

10News learned the incident happened in July at a 7-Eleven store in National City. David Levy filed the lawsuit alleging negligence, false imprisonment and that the officer searched his car without reason.

Levy's attorney, Chris Ramey, said his client was stopped by police for having expired car tags. According to Ramey, once Levy showed the officer he had paid his registration, the officer suspected Levy was high on drugs.

Levy was arrested for being under the influence and having a burglary tool, which was a pair of wire cutters used for work. Ramey said drug tests later came back negative and Levy has no criminal history.

"It's a big blow to Mr. Levy and it's unfortunate someone had to suffer at the hands of police that didn't do anything wrong," said Ramey.

Ramey believes the officer got upset when Levy refused to answer his questions. Levy felt the officer was being irrational so he refused to talk.

"When Mr. Levy said, 'I don't want to answer any more questions,' [the officer] became angry and began to teach Mr. Levy a lesson by making up stories so that he can put Mr. Levy in jail for not answering questions, and that's exactly what happened," said Ramey.

Levy is suing the city for $25,000 in damages. Ramey said his client has been embarrassed and humiliated by the incident and wants to make sure it doesn't happen to anybody else.

Ramey is hoping this case will go to trial and have a jury decide the outcome within a few months.

10News' calls to the City Attorney's Office were not returned, likely because they do not normally comment on pending litigation.

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