published Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

California Highway Patrol officer may face serious beating charges



A California Highway Patrol officer straddles a woman while punching her in the head on the shoulder of a Los Angeles freeway in this July 1, 2014 image made from video provided by motorist David Diaz.
A California Highway Patrol officer straddles a woman while punching her in the head on the shoulder of a Los Angeles freeway in this July 1, 2014 image made from video provided by motorist David Diaz.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LOS ANGELES — A California Highway Patrol officer who was videotaped repeatedly striking a woman on the side of a Los Angeles freeway could face serious charges, the agency said Wednesday after forwarding its investigation to the district attorney.

Officer Daniel Andrew, who was put on a desk assignment after the incident, was removed from duty and put on paid administrative leave, the CHP said.

The agency didn't reveal if it made a recommendation to prosecutors but said in a news release that its report outlined potentially serious charges he could face. It didn't specify possible charges.

The July 1 incident sparked outrage as video showed Andrew hitting Marlene Pinnock, 51, several times on the side of Interstate 10.

Andrew said in his report that Pinnock was a danger to herself and had tried to walk into traffic lanes. Drivers had called emergency dispatchers to report that a barefoot woman was on the freeway shoulder who appeared drunk or high.

Pinnock has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was off her medication for two to three months before the altercation with Andrew, said Pinnock's attorney Caree Harper.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Pinnock said she believed the officer was trying to kill her.

"He grabbed me, he threw me down, he started beating me," she said. "I felt like he was trying to kill me, beat me to death."

Pinnock filed a lawsuit against CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow and Andrew in federal court for civil rights violations. The lawsuit claims excessive force, assault, battery and a violation of her due-process rights.

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