Office of the Attorney General investigator Vicente B. Babauta has concluded in his investigation that police officer Jesse L. Dubrall acted appropriately during a narcotic operation in 2010 during which a Chinese national was injured in the head.
Babauta determined that the allegation of Jin Dong Wang is unsubstantiated.
“It was an unfortunate incident that Mr. Wang got hurt, but the officer's action justified and [was] proportionate to Mr. Wang's failure to comply and resistant (sic),” said Babauta in a report he prepared in October 2011.
Babauta's report was among the OAG's exhibits filed in the U.S. District Court for the NMI on Tuesday to support Dubrall's initial disclosures in connection with Wang's police brutality lawsuit.
Wang sustained a large cut in the head during the 2010 operation in As Lito. He alleged that Dubrall hit him with the butt of his gun and punched and kicked him during his mistaken arrest on the evening of Oct. 18, 2010.
In that operation, police realized that Wang was not the “ice” trafficking suspect they were looking for.
Wang filed the police brutality lawsuit in federal court against Dubrall, the CNMI government, DPS, former DPS commissioner Santiago F. Tudela, and unnamed co-defendants. He is represented in the case by lawyer David Banes.
Babauta said his investigation showed that during the execution of a warrant, Dubrall came face to face with Wang on the second floor balcony of the apartment where the warrant's subject was believed to be residing.
Babauta said that Dubrall yelled out “Police!” and told Wang several times to get down on the ground, but Wang did not comply with the instruction.
Babauta said that Wang ignored Dubrall's instruction and continued walking toward him. Dubrall then grabbed Wang on the shoulder and arm and attempted to take him down on the ground. Wang reportedly resisted and he and Dubrall slipped and landed on the ground.
Babauta said the investigation showed that Dubrall landed on top of Wang's back and he immediately secured Wang's hands behind his back with a handcuff.
Babauta said the struggle occurred on the second floor of the apartment's balcony where it was narrow, congested, and slippery.
Babauta said that police officer Buddy Igitol, who was in Dubrall's four-man team, came up and saw Dubrall in a squatting straddle position on the back of Wang.
Babauta said that Wang was already bleeding from the head at that point. Dubrall requested for a medic to the scene and Wang was later transported to the Commonwealth Health Center.
The OAG investigator pointed out that Wang was never arrested and that nothing was taken from him; he was simply detained for failure to comply with Dubrall's instruction.
“The investigation found that Officer Dubrall acted appropriately in his official capacity as a police officer,” he said.
Babauta said then Police Sgt. Joseph Flores of DPS Internal Affairs stated in his interview on Sept. 29, 2011, that by the time the information about the incident got to him, Dubrall had already moved out from DPS.
With Dubrall's departure from DPS, Flores did not conduct any administrative investigation on the matter, Babauta said.
In May 2012, U.S. District Court for the NMI chief judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed Wang's claims but allowed him to amend some of his claims related to illegal search and seizure and negligence.
Manglona granted OAG's motion to dismiss Wang's case against Dubrall, the CNMI, and Tudela.
In August 2012, DPS hired back Dubrall.