BERKELEY, CA -- A truck driver was beaten within an inch of his life by California Highway Patrol for not signing a traffic ticket that he could not read. The driver, who broke no laws, was beaten so badly that he woke up in a trauma hospital.
Olegs Kozacenko, a local resident originally from Russia, was pulled over and cited by police for allegedly driving too many hours in one day. Kozacenko refused to sign the ticket because he had not or could not read it.
CHP Officers didn't take kindly to the driver's refusal to sign. Two officers, one of them a trained fist-boxer, beat Kozacenko on the side of the highway nearly to death. He suffered a crushed left orbital eye socket, multiple facial fractures, a broken left arm, broken ribs, a concussion, loss of consciousness, and possible neurological damage. His injuries caused a deprivation of oxygen for a prolonged period of time.
Photographs taken of Kozacenko's unconscious body showed that he was in handcuff restraints. A toxicology report showed a 0.00% blood-alcohol content of the driver; perfectly clean.
"The public if they get stopped and simply comply with what they are asked to do, they have nothing to fear, nothing to fear at all," said Acting Chief Ken Hill.
Officers Andrew P. Murrill and Jim Sherman maintained that the force was not excessive. Both are still on the job a full 2 years after the incident. Olegs Kozacenko suffers long-term physical and emotional injuries and is no longer able to work.