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UPDATED 10/14/11 6:43 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – A south suburban police officer has filed a federal lawsuit seeking more than $10 million, after he was arrested and pegged as the “Honey Bee Killer” responsible for a two-state shooting spree last year.
Lynwood Officer Brian Dorian made headlines in when he arrested and charged with the Oct. 5, 2010, shootings that had left Chicago area residents terrified.
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Dorian said in his suit, filed in U.S. District Court Thursday, that a SWAT team from the Will County Sheriff’s office came to his home and arrested him two days after the shootings. He was charged with murder and spent four days in jail.
But police later determined that Dorian was home at the time of the shootings, and he was cleared of the crime.
Dorian’s suit claims the arrest was based on information that was coerced and influenced from one of the victims who was running from the killer. The victim gave a physical description of the gunman and the truck used in the shootings, which did not match Dorian, the suit said.
But the victim was unduly influenced by sheriff’s officers and the Will County state’s attorney to speculate that Dorian was the gunman, the suit alleges.
Dorian told officials he was on his home computer at the time the attacks took place. On Oct. 13, 2010, charges were dropped and Dorian was released from the Will County Detention Center, the suit said.
In December, reports said the charges against Dorian were based in part on an eight-year-old driver’s license photo.
“Every night when I was locked away, I was in that cage thinking these victims had a false sense of security,” Dorian said late last year. “I am praying for these victims. They got a long road ahead of them, they’ll need prayers the rest of their lives.”
The six-count suit claims false arrest and imprisonment, conspiracy and malicious prosecution. It seeks a jury trial and more than $5 million in compensatory damages, more than $5 million in punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs.
“The lawsuit filed today misrepresents the investigation into the October 2010 shootings in eastern Will County and in Indiana,” according to a joint statement for the Will County Sheriff’s and State’s Attorney offices. “The investigation was conducted according to the letter of the law. We are confident a court will find the actions of the parties named as defendants in this lawsuit to be justified after all of the evidence is presented.”
The Honey Bee Killer shot two men who were rehabbing a house in Will County Beecher. One man, Rolando Alonso, 45, was killed, while the other, Joshua Garza, 19, was wounded and hospitalized. A third man escaped into a field.
Shortly afterward, the man shot farmer Keith Dahl, 63, at his farm in Lowell, Ind. Dahl may have saved his own life by playing dead.
The “Honey Bee” moniker stems from reports that the killer asked questions about beekeeping before opening fire.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.