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Student Claims Use of Force by LAPD During Arrest for Train Violation

A woman who was riding the Metro train on Monday was resting her foot on the edge of her seat when she was approached by a police officer. After being deemed uncooperative she was removed from the train by the officer for arrest, and she has claimed that he used an unnecessary amount of force during the process.

When North Hollywood resident Bethany Renee Nava, 18, was aboard the Metro Red Line train on January 22, she placed the heel of her shoe on the edge of her seat. “Placing feet or shoes on seats or furnishings” is a violation of the customer code of conduct, as stated by Metro, and may lead to a warning with the possibility of being ejected from the train.

Nava was seen by an LAPD officer and he approached her about her infraction. Brock Bryan, another passenger on the train, recorded the interaction between Nava and the officer with his cell phone. The footage depicted the officer grabbing the student by her arm and forcing her toward the door of the train, as she tells him to stop while attempting to collect her belongings. Nava is also heard swearing at the officer.

When the train stopped at MacArthur Park station, and with Bryan still recording, the officer was seen dragging Nava off of the train and pushing her against the wall. Other passengers interjected by trying to dispute the way he was handling her. After the officer released her from his hold Nava continued arguing with him as he called for backup.

The group of people who had gathered around was heard shouting at the officer in disagreement of how harshly they perceived his treatment of Nava for such a small infraction.

More than six officers arrived on board another train that stopped at the station, and when they disembarked one of them was instructed to arrest Nava for allegations of being loud and boisterous on a train. A second woman was also taken into custody by two other officers after she was accused of spitting at one of the officers, which is considered battery.

Nava was released from custody and has a scheduled court date of February 15. Her family is seeking legal representation in an attempt to hold the officer accountable for allegedly using force during the arrest.

Selina Lechuga, the second woman arrested during the incident, faces allegations of battery on a police officer, and she was allotted $20,000 bail.

Bryan uploaded the video he captured of the event to YouTube and it was reported to have gone viral, receiving close to a million views overnight.

After receiving a complaint, the Los Angeles Police Department began a use-of-force investigation concerning the circumstances of Nava’s arrest.

If you or someone you love is suspected of disturbing the peace, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.