Gig Driver Who Missed Car Rental Payments Mauled by K9

Ali Badr is suing city of San Ramon, Calif., for excessive force after being pulled over by cops
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2022 10:54 AM CST
Gig Driver Who Missed Car Rental Payments Mauled by K9
Ali Badr, an Egyptian immigrant who now lives in Oakland, Calif., shows the damaged ring and pinky fingers on his right hand at his attorney's office in Oakland on Dec. 16, 2021.   (Yalonda M. James/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

A gig driver badly mauled by a police dog is suing a San Francisco area suburb, alleging use of excessive force and violation of civil rights when police stopped him in December 2020 after he'd missed car rental payments, reports the AP. Dashboard and body-camera videos obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle show an unresisting Ali Badr wailing in pain, his arm in the teeth of an aggressive San Ramon police dog for more than a minute as officers tried to cuff him. "I never do nothing," Badr yelled to officers, the videos show. "I never in my life do anything."

Badr, a 42-year-old resident of Oakland originally from Egypt, has driven for Uber and Lyft and started delivering food for DoorDash when the pandemic hit, the news outlet reported. Forced to give up his own car due to declining income, he agreed to rent a Toyota Camry owned by startup CarMommy, which caters to gig workers, according to the lawsuit. He told the Chronicle that he fell behind on payments, but told the company he'd pay them shortly. It was something he'd done before, he said.

But CarMommy CEO and co-founder John Blomeke had reported the car stolen, said Matthew Haley, Badr's attorney, resulting in the car's license plate number being listed in a state Department of Justice database shared among agencies. Badr was driving to work at a gas station when the plate triggered one of the city's license plate readers, alerting police of a vehicle reported as stolen. Officers in a half-dozen cars pulled him over, guns drawn and dog barking. He ended up being rushed to the hospital for surgery.

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San Ramon Police Chief Craig Stevens told the news outlet in an email that the department conducted an internal investigation into the arrest of Badr, but he declined to answer other questions citing the federal lawsuit, which Badr filed last month against the city of San Ramon, Stevens, and several police officers. Badr is also suing CarMommy, Blomeke, and HyreCar Inc. of Los Angeles, which brokered the rental. HyreCar, San Ramon's city attorney, CarMommy, and Blomeke didn't return messages from the Chronicle seeking comment.

(More police dog stories.)

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