Relatives of a South Los Angeles man who suffers from dementia and has been missing since being dropped off by California Highway Patrol officers at a Torrance gas station renewed their plea Thursday for help finding him.
According to the family, 62-year-old Douglas James 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.
“I explained to them (the officers) very clearly that my brother had Alzheimer’s and dementia, and I said to please take him home, and they said they would. And they didn’t,” Donald James said at a news conference last week.
Instead, the family contends, 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. He said he “went looking all that night, the next morning, the next day, and I’ve been looking up until this day now.”
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.