Traffic cop sues former 'Laguna Beach,' 'Hills' star Jason Wahler
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/21/2007
Jason Wahler may have sidestepped a prison stint by instead opting for rehab following an arrest on battery charges, however he apparently can't put the incident completely behind him.
Jonathan Wallace, a Los Angeles Department of Transportation traffic officer, filed an assault, battery and violation of civil rights lawsuit on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Wahler as well as friend Kristen DeLuca, E! News reported Monday.
The lawsuit stems from an incident last September when Wahler was reportedly traveling in a car with friends when their vehicle was blocked by a tow truck that was trying to move an illegally parked vehicle.
In the lawsuit, Wallace claimed he was assisting the tow-truck driver when the vehicle carrying Wahler and DeLuca -- which was driven by an unidentified "friend," E! News reported -- almost "clipped" the tow truck as well as the traffic cop.
Wallace, who is African-American, alleges in the lawsuit that the car then pulled over and Wahler and DeLuca, who are both white, exited "in an aggressive and confrontational manner."
"Wahler approached the tow-truck driver first, physically thrusting his chest into that of the tow-truck driver while unleashing a verbal barrage of racial statements and swearing profusely," the suit contends, according to E! News.
While Wallace claims he attempted to calm Wahler "in a professional and courteous manner," the reality TV star answered with another chest thrust, allegedly calling the officer a "n***er," "motherf***er," "fag" and "fatass." According to the lawsuit, Wahler then socked Wallace in the left eye before he reportedly turned his attention to the tow-truck driver, allowing Wallace to call LAPD.
Wahler and DeLuca both pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery. DeLuca was handed 24 months probation and a suspended 120-day jail sentence, according to E! News, but Wahler initially wasn't as lucky.
In March, a Los Angeles court sentenced him to two months in jail for the beating of two men and also required he attend a one-day program at the Museum of Tolerance as part of his sentence. Wahler was due to begin serving his sentence in May at Los Angeles County Jail, but that was delayed by a judge because of a stint in rehab, which he completed in June.
E! News reported Wallace is seeking at least $200,000 in damages from the incident, which was the first in a string of legal troubles for Wahler that plagued him prior to his stay in rehab.