Man Who Attacked Camerman Is Arrested After Violent Skid Row Struggle With LAPD

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Suzette Shaw, 50, screams “You can’t kill!” during a March 3, 2015, protest at the Skid Row site where a homeless man was killed by police officers on March 1. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Los Angeles police officers were involved in a violent altercation with a man on Skid Row after he assaulted a news photographer Wednesday, according to authorities.

The incident occurred shortly after noon at Sixth and San Pedro streets, in front of the Midnight Mission. It came three days after police fatally shot a homeless man in the same location in an incident that was caught on video, provoking outrage and protests.

On Wednesday, a cameraman was recording footage when he was assaulted, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Jack Richter said.

The local Fox affiliate, KTTV, posted on its website an account of the incident by reporter Phil Shuman, who said he was with the cameraman and a producer.

“Out of nowhere, a man grabbed our photographer's camera, twisting it violently and breaking it. We were trying to calm him down as the crowd started yelling at us,” Shuman’s post read. “He backed off, then grabbed the camera again, twisting off the viewfinder and destroying it.”

When the photographer called 911, at least four patrol cars arrived, Shuman wrote. The officers tackled the man, according to Shuman.

In video of the incident posted by KTTV, three officers can be seen taking the young man to the ground. A fourth officer joins them to help restrain him in a struggle that lasts several minutes as bystanders yell in the background.

The man attacked one of the officers, biting him and grabbing his police gun but failing to free it from the holster, Richter said.

A Taser was used on the man, and he was subdued and arrested, Richter said. Three officers were treated on scene for minor injuries.

The man's name was not released. 
HE was expected to face charges of vandalism, assault and resisting arrest, authorities said.

In the KTTV video, someone can be heard telling the news crew, “People don’t want to be videotaped, man.”

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said "the fight was on" for the officer's gun, in this case.

"We figure when someone's trying to grab our gun ... they're not grabbing the gun to give it back to us," Smith said. "They're grabbing the gun for whatever bad purposes they have."

Correction: An earlier headline for this story described the man detained by police as homeless. In fact, police did not say he was homeless. The story has been updated.

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