July 14, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

City of Santa Monica Approves $1.75 Million Settlement in Officer-Involved Shooting Case

Wolfgang Mountford settles with City in connection to 2019 shooting

By Sam Catanzaro

The City of Santa Monica finalized a $1.75 million settlement this week with a 31-year-old man struck in the head by a single gunshot fired by a former Santa Monica Police officer.

On July 14, 2019, just after 2 a.m. Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) officers responded to reports of a disturbance on the 2000 block of Lincoln Court. Earlier that morning, officers had responded to a call involving a similar complaint about loud noise in the alley. Responding officers had a non-confrontational encounter with Wolfgang Mountford, ran his identification, and left the premises. 

When the officers returned a second time, around 20 minutes later, they approached driving a dark vehicle without lights. Mountford became scared because he thought the resident who made the complaint was in the car, and he tried to hide behind a trash can.

As SMPD Officer Eloy Rodriguez began to approach Mountford, he then ran past the officer who fired a single gunshot striking Mountford in the head causing a severe injury. As paramedics treated Mountford at the scene, he didn’t realize he had a gunshot injury. 

“I had so much of my own blood unnecessarily spilled,” Mountford wrote in a social media post. “About 20 minutes before this happened, I had an interaction with the police, they ran my driver’s license, and they saw that I had no felonies, no warrants, no outstanding record, nothing, and they thanked me for cooperating and let me go. 20 minutes later I’m getting either a nightstick or the butt end of some officer’s gun to the back of my head.”

SMPD officers arrested Mountford, and he spent 18 days in jail, received a bill for his hospital treatment, and says he continues to suffer from the incident. 

“This settlement offers a sense of justice and vindication for our client who was maligned as a criminal when he was, in fact, a victim of excessive force and civil rights violations by law enforcement,” said plaintiff attorney Daniel Balaban.  

Mountford suffered a traumatic brain injury and the trauma associated with the shooting. The City of Santa Monica fired Rodriguez from the department in May 2020 after an investigation found he violated three municipal codes. 

The City issued the following statement in the wake of City Council approving the $1.75 million settlement. 

“Mountford mostly recovered from the incident but was claiming residual mental and emotional injuries including ongoing cognitive deficits. The case had been set for trial next month. The City does not admit liability, but believes the settlement is in the best interests of the City.”

in News
Related Posts

Summer at Annenberg:Swim Daily and Watch the Sunset

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

By Susan Payne A unique, inclusive community destination along the Pacific Coast Highway of Santa Monica is inviting you to...

Kroger and Albertsons Reveal List of Stores to be Divested in $25 Billion Merger

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

Eleven Stores in West Los Angeles Among Locations to be Sold  The Kroger Company and Albertsons Companies Inc. have announced...

Pizza Girl’s First Brick-and-Mortar Shop Opens Along Venice Beach

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

Its Owner, Caroline D’Amore, Has Made Several Film Appearances, Modeled, and Toured Internationally With Paris Hilton as a DJ By Zach...

This Homeless Santa Monica Resident Saved a Teenage Girl From a Vicious Attack

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

City Council’s Commendation for Wilker Was Made at Its Most Recent Meeting on July 9 By Zach Armstrong Santa Monica...

Santa Monica Launches Bitcoin Office to Educate and Innovate

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

New initiative aims to boost digital currency awareness, partnerships, and sustainable mining efforts The city of Santa Monica has unveiled...

Film Review: The Bikeriders

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

FILM REVIEWTHE BIKERIDERSRated R116 MinutesReleased June 21st, Still in Theatres, also online on Prime, Apple TV and other VOD platforms...

Both Drivers Have Been Identified in Fatal Malibu Crash on July 4

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Collision on Pacific Coast Highway Leaves One Driver Dead Law enforcement officials have identified the drivers in the tragic accident...

(Video) Renowned Soprano Singer to Make L.A. Homecoming at Broad Stage

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Golda is scheduled to perform on July 13 at 8 p.m. @smmirrornews This Saprano singer is set to take the...

Tartine Bakery Opens Venice Beach Location

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

A Throng of New Menu Items Are Exclusive to Tartine Venice By Zach Armstrong After more than two decades of going...

A Homeless Man in a Palisades Canyon Was Found With a Revolver. Its Property Owner Has Neglected the Site for Years

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

The Entire Canyon Is Now a Significant Fire Hazard, According to Officials By Zach Armstrong Within a Pacific Palisades canyon, one...

Council Approves Five-Year-Plan to Improve Big Blue Bus Services

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

The Initiative Aims to Expand Operating Hours, Improve Connectivity, and Create More Frequent Service By Zach Armstrong A five-year plan...

Santa Monica Has a New City Clerk

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

She Served as Interim City Clerk Since December Following the Retirement of Denise Anderson-Warren The Santa Monica City Council has...

Dine LA Restaurant Week Returns to Celebrate Culinary Diversity With Amazing Deals

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Special Menus at Hundreds of Local Restaurants from July 12 to July 26 Dine LA Restaurant Week will be returning...

Reward Offered for Information on Abused German Shepherd Found Near Malibu Creek Canyon

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Groups Seek Justice for Argon, Dog Discovered with Zip-Tied Mouth and Neck In Defense of Animals and Peace 4 Animals...

Palisades’ Vons Market Among Hundreds to be Sold Under Merger Plan

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

The Sale Is Intended to Satisfy Regulators The Vons supermarket in the Pacific Palisades, located at 17380 Sunset Blvd, is...