UCSB Student Files Lawsuit Over May 23 Attack

A UCSB student who was severely injured in Elliot Rodger’s killing rampage last May has filed a lawsuit against Santa Barbara County, the Sheriff’s Office, UCSB, and Rodger’s parents in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Keith Cheung, who was 21 years old at the time and weeks away from graduation, was biking down Del Playa Drive on the now-notorious night of May 23 when Rodger’s black BMW sped down the street and intentionally struck him from behind. Cheung flipped into the air, crashed into the windshield, and was carried by the BMW until he was ejected onto the street when Rodger crashed into a parked car. Rodger then shot himself in the head.

Immediately after the crash, authorities handcuffed Cheung, thinking he was a second suspect. The suit contends law enforcement officials violated Cheung’s constitutional rights by denying him immediate medical attention. Rodger killed six UCSB students and injured 13 more people that night.

Cheung suffered facial and skull fractures and abrasions all over his body, and according to his L.A.-based attorney Brian Kabateck, he continues to struggle every day with a debilitating head injury. The lawsuit alleges that Sheriff’s deputies and UCSB police officers failed to properly investigate Rodger before the murders when they responded to his residence on a welfare check. Rodger’s parents negligently trusted their son with a car, even though they knew he was very mentally ill, the suit contends.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover said she could not comment on the lawsuit since the Sheriff’s Office had not yet received a copy of it. A call to Rodger’s family attorney was not immediately returned.

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