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Husband of beaten crossing guard says she was just trying to protect children

December 1, 2010 |  8:14 am


The husband of a crossing guard beaten up in the Florence-Firestone area is speaking out, saying his wife is lucky the assailants didn't run her over.

Theatis Sutton told KTLA News that his wife, Shirley Mayberry, struck her head on the sidewalk and suffered a "big bruise" on the side of her head. He said she was simply doing her job, attempting to walk schoolchildren across the street when the attack occurred.

When a driver in a black Ford Expedition tried to make a right turn onto Firestone Boulevard from northbound Hooper Avenue about 2 p.m. Monday, Mayberry raised her stop sign high in the air and said, "You have to stop. The children come first," witnesses told Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators.

Investigators said the driver, Jose Hernandez, 27, yelled that he would not stop, and his passenger, Vanessa Del Pilar Martinez, 20, got out of the vehicle and punched the guard, knocking the woman to the ground. Hernandez then took the woman's whistle and stop sign before driving off, investigators said.

Residents in the Florence neighborhood expressed outrage about the attack. Read Times Staff Writer Tony Barboza's full story from the neighborhood here.


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Crime in Florence-Firestone in last six months, from Crime L.A.:

Violent crimes (446)
Property crimes (612)