NewsLocal News


Man frustrated after his car struck by OPD cruiser; claims could take months

Posted at 10:36 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 07:39:19-04

An Omaha man is frustrated with the City's slow response to a claim he filed against the City after his car was struck by an Omaha Police Department cruiser in January. 

Harley Mulford was leaving the Rice Bowl parking lot near Saddle Creek Rd. and California St. on the evening of January 16, when an OPD cruiser backed into his rear right taillight. 

Mulford says the officer apologized and claimed responsibility for hitting his 2006 PT Cruiser. He says the officer called OPD's Traffic division so an investigation could be conducted. 

The crash resulted in a busted taillight and minor damage to the right side of the back bumper. 

"The police officer admitted it was his fault and made it seem like it wouldn't be hard to take too long but it's been since then and it still hasn't been fixed," said Mulford.

Mulford filed a claim with the City on January 26 and the claim was opened by the City on February 5. 

The City told 3 News Now it could take months for the City to reach a settlement. The City added it's conducting an investigation.

In an email sent to 3 News Now, the City's Law team said: 

 "Mr. Mulford's PT Cruiser had preexisting damage to his rear bumper as well as a mismatched front bumper.  We have been looking into whether we could find reports on other accidents with this vehicle, as there seemed to be some unrepaired or non-fully repaired damages."

Mulford received two estimates for his damage. Car Star estimated $1,760 while Gregg Young estimated $3,230. 

The City says the hold up in this case is "while both estimates note a 2006 PT Cruiser, the estimates have two completely different license plates, and mileage listed as 34,942 on Greg Young and 66,919 on Car Star. This raises questions."

Mulford says he can't explain the mixup. He says the mileage is only wear and tear and hasn't changed the license plate numbers since a few years ago. 

"If it had been the other way around, and that that night in that parking lot I would've backed up into an Omaha police officer, action would've immediately happened. I would've been issued a ticket," said Mulford. 

Mulford said his own insurance company wouldn't take the claim. 

A spokeperson from the City says the National Automobile Dealers Association values a 2006 PT Cruiser between $1,200 and $3,600 so the vehicle may be totaled.