A King County man who was kidnapped, beaten, threatened and robbed by a man who he claims was working as a confidential informant for the Seattle Police Department is suing the city of Seattle.

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A King County man who was kidnapped, beaten, threatened and robbed by a man who he claims was working as a confidential informant for the Seattle Police Department is suing the city of Seattle.

Francisco Casillas said in the lawsuit filed Monday that he was “kidnapped, robbed, extorted and assaulted and suffered physical and mental injuries” by Cesar Hernandez-Garcia, a reputed police informant who he also claims was a member of a dangerous drug cartel.

Kent attorney Glenn Carpenter Jr. said Friday that his client is still traumatized about what happened to him.

“My client is still terrified,” said Carpenter in an interview.

The suit does not specify how much Casillas is seeking in damages. The suit also names “John and Jane Doe one through 10, a husband and wife and their marital community,” as defendants in the suit. The John and Jane Doe couples “are unknown at this time … and may still be members/officers/employees of the Seattle Police Department,” the lawsuit said.

Carpenter, in the lawsuit, said that by using Hernandez-Garcia as an informant, Seattle police employed “a highly dangerous individual who was and is a member of one of the most dangerous drug cartels in the world.”

“The Seattle Police Department committed gross negligence in employing such an individual.”

Seattle police spokesman Drew Fowler, noting that the department does not comment on pending litigation, said he does not know whether Hernandez-Garcia ever worked for police.

Hernandez-Garcia is a Mexican national who had been in the country illegally, Carpenter wrote in the lawsuit.

Cesar Hernandez-Garcia
Cesar Hernandez-Garcia

In 2012, Hernandez-Garcia was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree extortion in connection with an incident involving Casillas, according to criminal charges filed in 2012. That same year, he pleaded guilty to the robbery charge, the other two charges were dismissed, King County Superior Court records indicate.

Andrew Garber, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, said Hernandez-Garcia was released from prison to federal immigrations officials on June 30, 2014.

On Feb. 20, 2012, Hernandez-Garcia, who also goes by the name Jessahel Ortega-Baldis, went to Casillas’ auto-repair shop in Federal Way and kidnapped him at gunpoint, according to the records.

Casillas told authorities that he was forced, at gunpoint, into a van containing two other people, both wearing ski masks and carrying AK-47s, charging documents said. Casillas was handcuffed, had his wallet, keys and cellphone taken; and during the drive the masked men passed a badge between one another, the 2012 criminal charges said.

Casillas said he asked why he was being detained and they “told him not to argue” and that they were taking him to see “the boss,” charges said.

Casillas said that after the van stopped his captors took his shoes and hammered him with questions about who he worked for, according to the charges. He was asked about his family in Mexico and given an opportunity to call his relatives because he was about to be killed, the criminal charges said.

Casillas said they got back into the van and he was struck with a gun. His captors finally agreed to release him if he paid them $20,000.

Two days after the incident, Hernandez-Garcia, who Casillas only knew as “Fernando,” called him and told him to meet him to pick up his wallet. Casillas refused, charges said.

The following day, “Fernando” called again and threatened to kill Casillas, the charges said. Casillas told his cousin’s brother-in-law who, in turn, told him to call the police.

Federal Way police were able to identify “Fernando” as Hernandez-Garcia through his cellphone number, the criminal charges said. Police tracked the phone and on Feb. 26, they arrested Hernandez-Garcia.

Hernandez-Garcia told police he had “taken” Casillas “because he wanted to speak to a male by the name of Serfinio,” charges said. “Hernandez-Garcia told police that while in Mexico in 2006, a gang there kidnapped and threatened him.”

“His story was almost word for word what the victim stated was done to him,” police wrote in charges.

According to the charges in his criminal case, Hernandez-Garcia told Federal Way police that he was connected to a Mexican cartel and “was an informant to the Seattle Police Department and thinks that someone found out he was a snitch.”