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Deputy's clash with bus rider generates more questions

January 12, 2012 |  8:04 am

Frame from video of the incident on a Metro bus

Questions were growing about an incident on a Metro bus in which a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy is seen on videotape striking a woman in the face.

The incident has been prominently shown on local TV and the Internet. Sheriff Lee Baca said Wednesday that officials would look into the incident.

He said the deputy would be held accountable for his actions but stopped short of saying the incident required discipline. He also said the deputy might require retraining.

VIDEO: Clash on bus

"If the individual deputy who swung an elbow at the lady is looking at that as a sensible solution, we need to retrain that individual," he told KNX-AM (1070).

The woman had been described as violent and verbally abusive by a fellow bus rider who called 911, saying the woman was "trying to pick a fight with everyone" and had nearly hit an elderly man.

Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies responded to the 911 call. The video shows one of them apparently hitting the woman on the left side of her face with either his hand or elbow.

AUDIO: 911 call

The man who recorded the video told NBC-TV Channel 4 that the woman was polite and friendly toward the other passengers as she boarded the bus. He said she started cursing at the deputies when they asked her to get off.

The deputies knew the woman and were aware that she had four convictions for assaulting a police officer, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore

-- Angel Jennings and Steve Marble

Photo: Frame from video of the incident on a Metro bus. Credit: KNBC