Former Baldwin Park officer granted probation after allegedly beating handcuffed teenager

A former Baldwin Park police officer accused of beating a handcuffed teenager after he surrendered in 2019 was granted probation under a plea deal last week, authorities said.

According to Greg Risling, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office.

Last October, prosecutors charged Felton with two counts of assault under the guise of authority for allegedly kicking a 16-year-old who lay on the ground in surrender after fleeing a arrest. motor vehicle in 2019. Prosecutors also accused Felton of hitting the teen multiple times. times while the young man was sitting in the back of a patrol car.

The teenager, Anthony Romero, was charged with attempted murder and shooting at an occupied dwelling last year in an unrelated case three weeks after prosecutors announced the charges against Felton, court records show.

Risling did not immediately respond to questions about the impact, if any, of the criminal charges against Romero on Felton’s case.

Wesley Ouchi, an attorney representing the Romero family in an excessive force lawsuit against Baldwin Park police, said the plea deal amounted to a ‘slap on the wrist and didn’t hold up enough [Felton] responsible for his actions. He declined to comment on the attempted murder charges against his client.

In the lawsuit, Romero and his family accused Felton of beating him while handcuffed in the backseat of a cruiser and smashing his face against a metal grate. Romero’s mother, Angelica Estrada, previously told The Times that Felton said he “had to [Romero] a bit to teach her a lesson” when she arrived at police headquarters on the day of the incident.

In the lawsuit, Romero also accused a second Baldwin Park police officer, Sgt. Joseph Meister, of beating the teenager while in custody at police headquarters. Last year, Risling said prosecutors were looking into possible charges against Meister, but he did not provide additional information on Tuesday.

Romero and Meister are no longer employed by Baldwin Park Police, according to a department spokesperson.

At the time of Felton’s arrest, his attorney dismissed the case as a “political stunt” undertaken by the progressive Dist. Atti. George Gascon. On Tuesday, defense attorney Kasey Castillo said Felton had left California and noted that the case would be expunged from Felton’s record in a year.

She has always denied any wrongdoing on Felton’s behalf and called him a “victim” in the Romero case.

“It made no sense for him to come back and drag his family to a California court to fight these charges, even though, on the basis of facts and principles, he absolutely disputed them,” he said. she stated in an email.

Los Angeles Times

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