A woman who was arrested by MTA police after interfering with a sergeant at a Metro station earlier in the week said Friday at a news conference she was held by police without food and water.
Selena Lechuga said at a Friday news conference with a group called "Fight for the Soul of the Cities" flanking her that she is facing retaliatory and unjustified charges after the scuffle, which was caught on camera.
Cellphone video recorded a police sergeant taking an 18-year-old Redline rider, Bethany Renee Nava, by the arm and forcibly taking her off a subway as she tried to hang onto a handrail.
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On the platform, the sergeant was berated with vulgar language by both Nava and another rider, later identified as Lechuga.
Nava had failed to take her foot off the seat as the sergeant directed. Both Nava and Lechuga were arrested.
Lechuga spitting at the sergeant as she was led away, the video showed.
Lechuga told NBC4 Nava was treated unfairly, and so Lechuga stood up to the sergeant.
Lechuga was held 24 hours before posting bail.
MTA has responded to this several times this week, defending its code of conduct and the need to enforce it, but expressing disappointment this situation escalated to the point it did.
"As Metro continues to work with our partners at the Los Angeles Police Department on the investigation of a young woman being forcibly removed from a Metro subway train yesterday, I want to be clear about my position: We want our Customer Code of Conduct rules enforced, but I'm disappointed at the way the situation escalated," said Metro CEO Phillip Washington in an earlier report.