LA MESA POLICE INVESTIGATE BEATING OF TROLLEY RIDER BY MTS SECURITY EMPLOYEES

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View video of beating (warning, disturbing content):  http://www.10news.com/news/investigations/video-security-officers-beat-man-on-trolley

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2014 (La Mesa) – Two security officers for Metropolitan Transit System have been suspended after security video revealed the officers knocking a man across the aisle and then beating him for nearly seven minutes, 10 News reports.  10 News obtained the video through a public records request after receiving a complaint from Lynn Riggs, a passenger who witnessed the beating aboard the trolley in La Mesa on August 18. 

“He was not trying to get away, he was just trying to avoid getting further injured,” she said.  “I just watched them beat him and beat him and beat him with the baton.”  At one point, officers paused, then began violently beating the man again, seemingly without provocation.  The witness called the behavior “out of control.”

NBC News reports that the man, who was shirtless, was later treated at a hospital for injuries. The victim’s name has not been released.

“La Mesa Police Department will be evaluating the case and working with the District Attorney’s Office to evaluate for criminal charges,” Lieutenant. Matt Nicholass  with La Mesa Police stated in a press release.  

La Mesa Police are asking for anyone who witnessed this incident, or has video or photographs, to please contact Lt. Nicholass at 619-667-7512.  The surveillance video showed multiple passengers filming or photographing the altercation with their cell phones.

La Mesa Police initially responded to a call to assist trolley security after receiving a report that security officers were fighting with a patron. LMPD indicates they were initially told the situation was under control and that trolley security would handle the matter. 

But after MTS received a complaint and reviewed security video, MTS indicated that the trolley security’s use of force policy may have been violated.  After conducting its own internal investigation, MTS provided the video to La Mesa Police and asked La Mesa Police to investigate and determine whether criminal charges should be filed against the trolley security officers.