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Monday, February 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Man Says He Was Beaten for Picking a Rose

VENTURA, Calif. (CN) — He advertises himself as a "non-force" chiropractor, but a Ventura County man claims in court that the healer beat him in the head with a metal pipe, duct-taped his broken and bloodied body and dragged him down the street.

Steven Allen sued Todd Binkley and Binkley Chiropractic Corporation dba Binkley Healing Center, on Oct. 6 in Ventura County Court.

The fracas apparently stemmed from a vegetable garden Binkley had planted in front of his Healing Center on Main Street in Ventura. Allen says he was walking along the street when Binkley, dressed in all black, ran up behind him and whacked him in the head with the pipe. Binkley tackled him, held his bloodied face to the ground and tied his hands and legs with duct tape.

In a Dec. 8, 2015 arrest report, a Ventura police officer describes finding Allen in that condition. Allen claims he suffered a broken eye socket, multiple facial lacerations and severe neck and back injuries.

According to the police report, he also had a large abrasion on his back from being dragged across the pavement after he was bound. He also was bleeding on the left side of his brain.

Allen's attorney, David Koppelman with Cellino & Barnes in Los Angeles, said his client was attacked for no cause.

"No matter how you look at it, it's heinous conduct," Koppelman said. "We're seeking justice on behalf of Steve Allen — and to protect the community from this conduct in the future."

Binkley is a clinical nutritionist and chiropractor, who "believes that good health comes from an active process of making choices," according to his website. He lectures at hospitals, service clubs and support groups around Ventura County and his mission "is to provide everyone he meets with the information and assurance needed to make effective choices to enable everyone to live long and live well."

According to a story in the Aug. 6, 2015 edition of the Ventura County Reporter, Binkley has a 32-foot-long, by 15-inch wide organic garden in front of his office that contains 13 herbs and a "cornucopia of vegetables such as kale, chard and several heirloom tomato varieties." The garden uses a self-watering system known as a wicking bed, which captures and retains water rather than allowing it to drain.

"People come to me for different conditions and I do different types of diagnostic tests, but I'm always trying to get people to eat more veggies," Binkley told the newspaper.

According to the police report, officers responded to a call about a man hitting another man in the head with an object and dragging his body through the street. When officers arrived they found Allen tied up and "bleeding from his face" with "numerous abrasions on his eyebrows and cheekbones."

Binkley told police he was merely placing Allen under citizen's arrest after seeing him rip up plants from the garden, causing about $500 in damage. He chased him, tackled him to the ground and bound his hands and legs.

Allen was charged with misdemeanor vandalism after being taken to a hospital on a stretcher.

At the hospital, Allen told police he was just walking to an appointment with his psychologist at the nearby Turning Point Foundation and denied vandalizing the garden. He said he picked one rose before Binkley attacked him.

Binkley, contacted at his office, refused to comment. The Ventura Police Department also declined to comment.

Allen seeks punitive damages for negligence, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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