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Transient charged in baton attack on Long Beach police officer

January 19, 2012 |  7:10 pm

Los Angeles County prosecutors filed two felony counts Thursday against a transient accused of wrestling a baton away from a police officer and using it to attack her.

Michael Bangerter, 38, has been charged with one count each of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and obstruction, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Initially, police had booked him for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and obstruction or resisting arrest, according to Police Chef Jim McDonnell.

The attack was reported about 12:10 p.m. Wednesday in the 1400 block of Ocean Boulevard. The officer, a 14-year veteran with the department, spotted a transient scavenging through recycling bins in an alley. Police say the man, later identified as Bangerter. refused to follow the officer's orders, and when she called for backup, he attacked her.

The officer attempted to use her baton in self-defense but Bangerter was able to wrestle it away from her and began striking her with it, police said. A witness called police but it was unknown if the person intervened.

McDonnell said Bangerter attempted to grab the officer's handgun, but arriving officers were able to subdue him.

The officer, whose name was not released, was treated for moderate injuries at a hospital and released.

Bangerter was also taken to a hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries, police said.


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-- Ruben Vives