Suit: Former cop flashed badge, fired shot at teen in Bonita neighborhood

BONITA, Calif. - A situation involving a shot fired in an upscale Bonita neighborhood is drawing some parallels to the Travyon Martin case.

The ordeal unfolded in mid-April when 18-year-old Adolfo Garcia, his 16-year-old friend Kevin Gomez and two female friends -- all Hispanic -- walked up to Timrick Lane, a neighborhood filled with gated homes.

Garcia admitted he and his friends cut across someone's backyard and up to a foreclosed home -- a home he said he partied at before when a friend lived there.

Garcia told Team 10 he wanted to show the girls the view and didn't go into the home.

Team 10 Investigator Michael Chen asked, "Many will wonder why you're at a vacant home."

"We wanted to see the great view. We only stayed a few minutes," said Garcia.

When the group went back to their car that was parked on the street, Garcia said a neighbor was standing nearby with a pickaxe and another neighbor was at the driver's door yelling at them to sit down. That man was waving an old badge and warning them that deputies were on their way.

Garcia said he thought the men were acting crazy and tried to get into the car. The man near the door then emptied a can of pepper spray in his direction.

Moments later, he said was looking down when it happened.

"I heard a loud sound, a bunch of glass all over the place. My ear was ringing. I was lucky my head was down or I believe I would have been hit," said Garcia.

Garcia never saw the gun, but his friends did.

"He pulls out the gun and shoots. I'm right there. I thought he shot my friend. I started going crazy, screaming …," said Gomez.

Gomez said the man pointed a gun at him before deputies arrived.

The teens have now filed a lawsuit against the neighbors.

Their attorney, Dan Gilleon, said the man who opened fire is white and a retired police officer.

"The retired cop took the law into his own hands and went way overboard. This was Trayvon Martin all over again. The only difference is no one died," said Gilleon.

"I just don't want this to happen to anyone else, ever. This guy shows a badge and he thinks he can get away with anything; that's not right," said Garcia.

Team 10 hasn't named the neighbors because they have not been charged with a crime.

The retired police officer has hired an attorney, Jeremy Warren, who issued this statement: "The homeowner involved in this incident is a retired law enforcement officer who protected and served the community for more than thirty years. While this case must play out in the courts, he strongly denies having committed any wrongdoing in front of his own home, and he will vigorously defend himself and his actions."

Gilleon believes no arrests have been made because the former officer is getting a break.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Melissa Aquino said, "A full investigation was conducted that included numerous interviews and attempt to re-interview the suspect who declined further statement based on the advice of his attorney. The case was forwarded, with a misdemeanor charge, to the District Attorney's Office for review on May 12th."

"This was an attempted murder and an arrest should have been made by now," said Gilleon.

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