Whittier College Safety Officers Wrongly Detain and Assault Officer of the Court. Who’s Next?

On July 27th, 2005, Dylan Brown was wrongly detained, assaulted, and coerced into signing a trespassing document by Whittier College Safety officers - only minutes after Brown had made required legal service on student Nicola Jagessar via Whittier College Safety Assistant Chief John Lewis, who had personally replaced the student’s address with his campus office address at a Norwalk Superior Court hearing on May 19th, 2005.

Brown, in his capacity as an officer of the court, had just made required legal service on Jagessar via John Lewis at the Whittier College Safety office, and had stopped at the campus post office annex to retrieve legal documents earlier served on Jagessar by mail that Jagessar had refused to accept on his way off campus.

Jagessar had not been on the campus for more than two months, having fled the California court’s jurisdiction in May 2005. Nicola Jagessar had evaded legal service attempts by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies six times on the Whittier College campus and at the Redondo Beach home of Jagessar’s aunt, Tara Jagessar, sister of Patrick Jagessar, the student’s father, a former senior magistrate sentenced to a 19 year prison sentence in Trinidad & Tobago.

A declaration filed by Dylan Brown in Superior Court details how Brown was falsely detained, assaulted, and then sexually assaulted by one of two Whittier College Safety officers who appeared to have rushed from another location to the post office annex, evidently following specific instructions to detain and assault Brown, to terrorize Brown into signing a trespassing document before he could leave the campus. Dylan Brown is a 5’ 3”, 125 lbs., Caucasian. The assaulting Whittier College Safety officer is an African-American standing over 6’ tall and weighing over 200 lbs.

Brown explained to the Safety officers that he was acting in the capacity of an officer of the court, that he had just minutes before made required legal service on a student through Safety Assistant Chief John Lewis, and was retrieving legal documents served on the student by mail that the student had refused to accept on his way off campus. The Safety officers responded by wrongly detaining and assaulting Brown, during which the African-American officer sexually assaulted Brown.

Brown states that the assaulting officer handcuffed Brown’s hands behind his back, and then the officer put his hands deeply into the front and back pockets of cargo shorts Brown was wearing, emptied them of their contents, which contents the officer dumped on the ground, during which process the officer painfully squeezed Brown’s genitalia and poked between his buttocks. The assaulting Safety officer did not empty all Brown’s pockets, only those allowing access to Brown’s genitalia and buttocks.

The handcuffing and manipulation and unexpected sudden moving of Brown to, into, and out of a vehicle, caused Brown physical pain that has required physical therapy, as the experience has necessitated psychological counseling.

If the assaulting Safety officer had simply asked for Brown’s identification, which was and remained in a lower pocket of his cargo shorts, his signature could’ve been compared with that on the completed proof of service form only minutes earlier served by Brown at the Safety office. The offending officers wrongly detained and assaulted Brown just because he had just made required legal service on Nicola Jagessar through John Lewis at the Safety office.

Brown was then told to sign a trespassing document or he would be arrested on unspecified charges by the Whittier P. D., who were arriving on the scene. The diminutive Brown, terrified and in pain, agreed, and was then released from handcuffs, placed on him for no reason but to make him vulnerable to assault, signed the document and was released by the offending Whittier College Safety officers. Brown’s suspicion that the assault was ordered was confirmed when Assistant Safety Chief John Lewis arrived on the scene and praised his officers for their assault on the officer of the court and their coercion of Brown to sign the trespassing document.

Not surprisingly, a report of the incident filed by Brown with the Whittier P. D. was never acted on, despite repeated inquiries by Brown pursuant to his filing the complaint in person at the Whittier P. D.

Documents filed by the court in Nicola Jagessar v. Bart Brown (Superior Court VQ006413), which Jagessar eventually lost when Bart Brown successfully appealed (California Court of Appeal B186366), portray a corrupt relationship between the Whittier College Safety office and the Whittier P. D. in which not only Whittier College’s status as the main economic engine of Whittier, but also crossover employment of personnel by the two agencies, are cited as corrupting and facilitating factors. The Whittier P. D. detains rather than arrests Whittier College students, and turns them over to the Safety office for referral to student discipline, and loses complaints made against the Safety office and Whittier College generally. And the money continues to stream down the hill into Whittier.

Other filed documents reveal that, due to Jagessar’s continuing evasion of legal service, and even more Jagessar’s threats against Bart Brown and others and then the attempted murder of Bart Brown, it became understandably difficult to find individuals willing to act in the capacity of an officer of the court to make required legal service on Jagessar. The assault on Dylan Brown made it understandably more difficult to affect required legal service on Jagessar through Assistant Safety Chief John Lewis, which was evidently the objective of the wrongful detainment of and assault on Dylan Brown by Whittier College Safety officers on July 27th. And who would hold Campus Safety to account? The Whittier P. D.?

In his statement regarding the detainment, assault and coercion, Brown expressed concern that the Whittier College Safety officers who assaulted him, and the superior whose orders the officers were carrying out, pose a continuing danger to Whittier College students and others on the campus. Indeed, who is next?

Update: Corporal Rick Thomas and Reserve Officer Parra have been tentatively identified as the officers who assaulted Dylan Brown. Whittier College community members are advised to exercise caution in relation to these Campus Safety officers particularly, and this site requests any information anyone may have regarding Thomas and Parra as well as Assistant Chief John Lewis.

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