A 52-year-old man who was sleeping in Balboa Park when a park ranger drove over him will receive a $1 million settlement from the city, it was decided Tuesday (September 13).
Derrick Marable was sleeping on the grassy slope east of the Marston Point parking lot near Sixth and Hawthorn on January 17, 2015, at around 1:35 p.m. when the park ranger drove over him in a city Parks and Recreation Department Silverado pickup truck. The truck dragged him 75 feet before stopping, according to court papers. Marable suffered severe injuries, his attorney said.
"His back was broken in several places," attorney King Aminpour said. "He was hurt very badly."
Marable first filed a claim with the city, which is required by law before an injured party can sue. His claim was denied, according to court papers.
Park ranger Carole Rukstelis was driving the Silverado and didn't see Marable, according to court papers. The lawsuit alleges negligence — in plain terms, "she wasn't looking where she was going," Aminpour said.
Information as to whether Marable was under a blanket or otherwise camouflaged was unavailable.
Twelve years earlier, Rukstelis told CityBeat why buskers must get permits to play in the park. "We have a responsibility for the safety of all the people using the parks," Rukstelis told CityBeat. "With the heightened concern over security after 9/11 and to protect kids better, we started requiring background checks as part of the permit process."