These are actual case files from the offices of Armando Zatarain Investigations, an Orange County Detective (OC PI). We have either changed or omitted last names to protect the innocent and all parties concerned. Please read on to see how we can assist you with sensitive situations and problems. Armando Zatarain thanks the attorneys involved for their team work, cooperation and legal expertise in helping to resolve some very serious cases.

Disorderly Conduct

Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III asked for assistance in a civil suit. The client is the owner of a well-known bar in Long Beach. A patron that was allegedly intoxicated became unruly and was asked to leave the premises. The patron left the premises; however, he got into a scuffle with some people outside the bar around closing time. The patron sued the bar, alleging he had been assaulted by employees of the bar. The investigation revealed the bar employees were innocent of any wrongdoing. The patron had sought a settlement in the range of six figures. The case was settled as a nuisance for less than $2,500 including plaintiff's attorney fees

-- Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III, Long Beach, California

Car Accident

Attorney Douglas W. Otto III, represented Melissa D. Melissa D. is a single mother with five children. One morning, she was driving her raised four-wheel drive SUV and did not see an elderly gentleman crossing a street while she prepared to make a left turn. The elderly gentleman was operating a motorized scooter. Melissa D. struck the elderly gentleman, and he later died from his injuries. This was a tragic accident; nothing more. The Los Angeles County District Attorney declined to prosecute Melissa D.; however, the Long Beach City Attorney filed misdemeanor manslaughter charges. Armando Zatarain Investigations began an investigation into this case. Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III used our investigation and a mechanical engineer in his case at trial. Melissa was found not guilty of all charges.

-- Attorney Douglas W. Otto, III, Long Beach, California

Street Assault

Attorney Todd A. Landgren requested our help on a serious assault case. Mr. B. was charged with assault after a minor traffic collision. Mr. B. initially was struck by another vehicle from behind. The vehicle attempted to flee, however, Mr. B. caught up with the vehicle and driver. He obtained the license number of the vehicle and description of the driver. Mr. B. called the police while enroute home. The local police department responded initially, and then the CHP responded. To Mr. B's surprise, he was the one that was arrested. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon (his vehicle). Armando Zatarain investigated the case and interviewed the alleged victim. The victim seemed very reluctant to go to court to repeat what he had originally told the police. The case was eventually dropped by the prosecution after Mr. B. insisted on going to trial.

-- Attorney Todd A. Landgren, Irvine, California

Assault in Public

Attorney Daniel V. Cota sought the assistance of Armando Zatarain Investigations for his client, who was charged with assault. Mr. Lopez was charged with assaulting a security guard at a restaurant. Mr. Lopez was actually the victim in this case. Investigator Alejandro (Joe) Munoz of Armando Zatarain Investigations conducted a very thorough investigation. He also met with the lead detective from the police agency handling the case. Upon completion of investigator Munoz' investigation, the assault case against Mr. Lopez was dropped. A civil suit against the security guard, his employer and the restaurant are pending.

-- Attorney Daniel V. Cota, Wallin & Klarich, West Covina, California


Attorney Michael K. Cernyar retained Armando Zatarain Investigations to assist in an alleged fraud case. The client was charged with multiple felonies. These felonies involved many millions of dollars. The client was facing many years in Federal prison. Armando Zatarain was able to convince the Federal agent handling the client's case that the client had a lot of useful information. The agent agreed to listen to the client's version of events. The client's attorney, Michael K. Cernyar, negotiated with the agent and the Assistant U.S. Attorney. The client was able to settle his case without serving any jail time.

-- Attorney Michael K. Cernyar, Long Beach, California

Sexual Battery

Mr. C. is a hard-working businessman; he is a professional painter, and employs others in his house painting business. Mr. C. is a fine, decent and honorable man. Mr. C. had the misfortune of having a female client with serious mental issues. Mr. C. was wrongfully accused of sexual battery by this client. Mr. C. sought assistance from Armando Zatarain Investigations. Armando Zatarain, investigator Joe Klein and investigator John Allen conducted a complete and thorough investigation. They discovered that the female client allegedly made aggressive sexual advances toward several males, including neighbors, and that she took multiple medications for a variety of mental maladies. One of the interesting things she allegedly did was gardening late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. She would also allegedly argue with her roses. The case was eventually dismissed by the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

-- Attorney Name Witheld