A Sacramento man who admitted stealing seven Scratchers lottery tickets from a convenience store a year ago has filed a lawsuit alleging an off-duty Placer County sheriff's deputy shot him in the back three times when he tried to run away.
The suit seeking unspecified damages claims excessive force was used by Placer County Sheriff's Sgt. Van Bogardus, violating the Fourth Amendment rights of plaintiff Sergey Pautov. The 13-page suit, filed May 25 in federal court, also names the city of Roseville, which conducted the manhunt for Pautov after the lottery ticket theft.
Bogardus remains employed at the Sheriff's Department, said Lt. Mark Reed. An internal investigation into the matter has not been concluded, he said.
But the Placer County District Attorney's Office concluded in its review of the case that Bogardus did not commit a crime when he shot Pautov.
The city of Roseville declined to discuss the suit.
The suit stems from Pautov's May 29, 2011, visit to a Rocklin AM/PM. In the suit, Pautov's attorney, Robert Piering, lays out how his client asked for seven scratch-off lottery tickets and when the clerk turned his back to grab some cigarettes left the store with the tickets.
During the ensuing search for Pautov, Roseville police officers encountered Bogardus, who identified himself and offered to help.
On his way home, Bogardus saw Pautov on foot, the suit says. Bogardus, in his unmarked pickup, positioned himself in front of the walking Pautov, then "sprang from his position in the driver's seat, drew his fully loaded 9mm handgun, announced he was a sheriff's officer and pointed his loaded 9mm" at Pautov, the suit states.
According to the suit, Pautov immediately put his hands up and said he was not armed. The suit says Pautov did not threaten Bogardus or anyone else.
"With his hands raised, Plaintiff started to slowly back away from the barrel of defendant Bogardus' loaded 9mm handgun," the lawsuit reads. "Plaintiff then turned his back to defendant Bogardus and began to run away."
Bogardus fired three shots into Pautov's back "without justification or provocation," the suit states.
Information released by the District Attorney's Office when it announced its decision on Bogardus paints a different picture.
It said that Pautov had been driving recklessly in a stolen vehicle to evade capture before he began to run on foot; that he did not stop when confronted and ignored four warnings; and that Bogardus fired only when he feared that Pautov, who was trying to climb a wall into the yard of a private residence, might be a danger to the public. It said Pautov was hit twice in the left buttocks and once in the right hip.
The suit makes vague reference to Pautov's injuries, ongoing medical care, emotional distress, lost earnings and need to hire legal counsel.
Pautov served 120 days for the 2011 theft.