Woman Suspected of Spitting on LAPD Officer in Viral Metro Red Line Video Charged With Battery

Selena Lechuga is shown in a video posted on Facebook on Jan. 22, 2018. (Credit: Brock Bryan)

Selena Lechuga is shown in a video posted on Facebook on Jan. 22, 2018. (Credit: Brock Bryan)

A 22-year-old woman was charged with battery this week for spitting on a Los Angeles police officer during a confrontation at a Metro station that sparked criticism of the LAPD earlier this year, authorities said.

Selena Lechuga pleaded not guilty to one count of battery on a peace officer Friday, according to Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney’s office. Lechuga was initially arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery, and the charge was formally filed Thursday, said her attorney, Nana Gyamfi.

Lechuga was one of two women at the center of a controversial arrest at the Westlake/MacArthur Park station that was caught on video in late January. The confrontation began when an LAPD sergeant approached 18-year-old Bethany Nava and ordered her to take her foot off an empty seat, which is a code-of-conduct violation on Metro trains.

When Nava refused, the sergeant grabbed her by the arm and pulled her off the train, according to bystander video that was posted to Facebook earlier this year. (Warning: Video contains explicit language)

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