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Postal worker accused of choking 11-year-old girl is put on leave

February 6, 2013 |  6:50 am

A U.S. Postal Service worker accused of choking an 11-year-old girl at a Commerce park while he was on duty has been placed on unpaid leave, officials said.

The incident involving the letter carrier is also being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the agency's law enforcement authority, in addition to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Postal Service spokesman Richard Maher said Wednesday. 

The girl said Daniel Villasenor, 55, choked her Monday evening because she had laughed at him after he accidentally entered a woman's restroom at Bristow Park, the sheriff's department said.

"Several witnesses saw the postal worker get angry and choke the young girl," department officials said in a statement.

Deputies found Villasenor nearby and arrested him on suspicion of felony cruelty to a child. He remained in jail Wednesday, with bail set at $100,000.

Villasenor has been a Postal Service employee since 1981, Maher said. Residents described him as pleasant.

"He says hi," Eduardo Lopez told KTLA. "He's like a friendly person."

"He was a nice gentleman," Richard Hernandez said. "I would speak to him from time to time. He was good. I never thought he was going to do this."

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— Kate Mather and Robert J. Lopez

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