Judge Dismisses North Hollywood Business Owner’s Claim for Damages Caused by SWAT Team Assault

LA County Business Owner Compelled to Pay for Damages Incurred During SWAT Raid

North Hollywood business owner Carlos Peña is expressing his outrage after a judge ruled that the City of Los Angeles will not be responsible for compensating him for damages caused by a SWAT team nearly two years ago. Peña feels frustrated and defenseless in light of this decision. The incident occurred on August 4, 2022, when a federal fugitive entered Peña’s print shop and assaulted him before law enforcement intervened.

The chaotic scene included U.S. Marshals and the LAPD’s SWAT team, who engaged in a 13-hour standoff with the suspect. The authorities used tear gas, which contaminated all of Peña’s printing equipment and supplies, including printers, ink, T-shirts, and banners. Despite Peña’s efforts to file a claim for around $60,000 in lost equipment and wages, the U.S. Marshals denied his claim, leading him to sue the city for damages.

A federal judge ultimately ruled that the government is permitted to seize property in the course of criminal investigations, absolving the City of Los Angeles from compensating Peña for the damages incurred during the standoff. This decision has further devastated Peña, who has since relocated his business operations to his garage and has experienced an 80% decline in business. He has lost faith in the government and feels abandoned in his time of need, especially since the suspect was not apprehended despite the extensive destruction caused by law enforcement.

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