LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A South Los Angeles man who had been missing for more than a month has been found and was reunited with his family Friday night.
The man, 62-year-old Douglas James, was last seen in the 800 block of Sepulveda Boulevard in Harbor City after an encounter with officers from the California Highway Patrol.
According to the family, 62-year-old Donald James was driving with his twin brother, Douglas, in the car when he was pulled over Nov. 5 on suspicion of driving under the influence. The family said Douglas suffers from dementia, and that Donald asked officers to make sure his brother got home safely, but the officers instead dropped him off at a gas station 12 miles away from their home.
“In no case should police officers just release people who are suffering with mental disease or are sick,” Mark Ravis, an attorney for the family, said. “That is totally unacceptable. That’s what happened here.”
Luckily, James was found safe on Wednesday sleeping in a pediatric dental office in Pasadena. He was taken into custody on a parole violation, which Ravis said was issued in order to help find him.
“This is the best Christmas gift,” Donte James, the man’s son, said. “I just want to unwrap it.”
James served nearly 30 years in prison on charges of robbery and attempted murder. He was released last year and was trying to reestablish a relationship with his sons.
“For him to come back into our lives, and then for this to happen at the hands of the people who are there to help us and support us, it’s been unimaginable,” Antquon James, the man’s son said.
Though the family said they were relieved to have James home, they want the CHP officer who dropped him off to be held accountable.
The CHP said the incident is under investigation.