The attorney for the family of a South Los Angeles man with dementia called Thursday for increased efforts to find him after he was dropped off by California Highway Patrol officers at a Torrance gas station one month ago.
Douglas James, 62, was a passenger in a car being driven by his twin brother, Donald, on Nov. 5, when they were stopped by the CHP and Donald was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk.
The family says the CHP officers dropped Douglas James and his dog, Teddy Bear, at an ARCO gas station in Torrance — 12 miles from their home in South Los Angeles. James hasn’t been seen since, although the dog was found five days later in the Wilmington area, the family says.
Donald James said that after his arrest, officers drove him back to the apartment he shares with his brother, but Douglas wasn’t there.
CHP officials issued a statement saying Douglas James was able to communicate clearly with the officers, who followed policy by dropping him off in a safe, public place. But the CHP said in light of the family’s concerns, the agency is reviewing the officers’ actions.
“It is unknown what, if anything, the CHP is doing to locate Douglas,” attorney Mark Ravis said. “The James family as well as civil rights groups are becoming increasingly concerned that this will have an unhappy ending.”
Ravis says the family twice requested assistance from the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“We have heard nothing from his office,” the attorney said.
“Government must do its job. The state must issue an alert to all state law enforcement officers, post a reward for any member of the public who locates Douglas, and investigate the officers and the local CHP office responsible for Douglas’ disappearance.”
Ravis and James’ family have also asked Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti “to mobilize city resources, including those of the Los Angeles Police Department, in the effort to find Douglas,” he said.
“The LAPD did nothing, as far as we know, for two weeks after the filing of a missing person report by the James family.
“If we do not receive meaningful cooperation from state and local officials, we will ask for federal assistance,” Ravis said, adding that the family wants Douglas located before Christmas.