Rocklin settles federal lawsuit over Dutch Bros arrest

ROCKLIN, Calif. — A courtroom deputy said earlier this month in an electronic filing notice that an excessive force lawsuit filed by the suspect in the viral Dutch Bros arrest in Rocklin last September has been settled.

Derick Konz, representing the City of Rocklin, said in a motion previously filed with the court that the plaintiff, 20-year-old Brenden Owens, had agreed to dismiss his claims with prejudice following negotiations with the city.

The reason for the settlement, and any money possibly paid to Owens, was not included in the notice. Senior District Judge Morrison England ruled that documents relating to the settlement, which Konz said the parties were drafting, are due by August 1st.

Konz couldn’t be reached for comment, and a lawyer representing Owens didn’t respond to an email as of Wednesday morning.

Owens filed the suit in early March, accusing his still-unidentified arresting officer of using “excessive and objectively unreasonable” force against him as he laid prone on the ground at gunpoint.

Owens claimed the officer twisted his arm into his back for over 20 seconds, causing him to develop anxiety and a shoulder injury.

Owens also asserted that the officer engaged in “malicious, wanton, and oppressive” conduct by placing both knees into his back and aiming his service weapon at him. A CAD incident report obtained by The Update confirmed the officer held him at gunpoint.

Officers were initially dispatched to the coffee shop following reports of a man sitting in a gold SUV in the parking lot. Dispatchers noted that the man was “possibly on something” and was “acting erratic”.

Shortly before officers responded to the scene, an employee called 911 a second time and said the man was back, running around the parking lot and threatening employees. He allegedly began exclaiming that his car was stolen.

Owens now faces four misdemeanor charges in relation to the incident, including resisting arrest.

In a video of the chaotic scene uploaded to TikTok, Owens is pictured yelling “ow” and “you’re hurting me” as the officer restrains him. Several nearby bystanders, including the person filming, objected to the officer’s actions.

An internal investigation relating to the incident has been finished since December, according to a city spokesperson, and a press release promising transparency during the investigation has since been deleted. Officials haven’t released any information on the investigation’s findings.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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