LASD accused of inflated train-wrecking charges against protester

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Emanuel Padilla is arrested after a protest outside Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s home in La Habra Heights on Nov. 18, 2020. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Emanuel Padilla is arrested after a protest outside Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s home in La Habra Heights on Nov. 18, 2020. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has filed charges against a protester for allegedly attempting to wreck a train at the scene of a demonstration against the sheriff’s department — a case where the defendant’s attorneys have accused officials of gross exaggeration in retaliation for protest activity.

Emanuel Padilla, a 34-year-old toy designer who lives in Hawthorne, was charged Monday with one felony count of a train wrecking attempt, which carries a maximum sentence of life without parole, and one felony count of unlawful obstruction of a railroad track, which carries a two- to four-year sentence.

Padilla pleaded not guilty at an arraignment at the Compton courthouse Monday, where a judge denied bail.

According to the sheriff’s department, the alleged incident occurred Nov. 15 at the intersection of Compton Boulevard and Willlowbrook Avenue in Compton — the location of a largely peaceful protest organized that afternoon to urge justice for Andres Guardado, an 18-year-old killed by a sheriff’s deputy in Gardena this summer.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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