Caught On Tape: Skateboarder And School Custodian Exchange Punches
PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — Police are looking to question a skateboarder in a violent assault caught on cell phone camera and posted on YouTube.
The tape shows the custodian asking a group of skateboarders to leave the school grounds at South Pasadena Middle School.
The incident occurred Tuesday, after school was let out for the day. The fight left the custodian hospitalized.
Several F-bombs are exchanged before the janitor pushes one of the kids. Chest bumps are exchanged before punches are thrown. Early on, the janitor — identified by the Pasadena Sun as Lupe Garcia — seems to get the best of the skateboarder before he unleashes a flurry of punches on the custodian’s face.
Witness Nathan Camarillo, a student, told CBS2’s Bobby Kaple that the fight started when the janitor told the skateboarders they shouldn’t be smoking.
“And the kid in the blue sleeved shirt pushes the janitor. And they started getting into all this pushing,” says Camarillo.
The 1 minute, 47-second video clearly shows the confrontation between one of the kids and the janitor escalating.Garcia says into his walkie-talkie “These kids aren’t listening to me.” One of them replies with an F-bomb and says, “I don’t have to listen to you. Who are you?”
Garcia pushes the kid who asked “Who are you?”
One of the skateboarders warns the janitor, “I got it on film, man … don’t trip” after Garcia pushes his friend. The kid taping the incident again says, “Damn bro, you’re tripping. Calm down.”
The janitor speaks into his walkie-talkie and says “A guy just pushed me.” The kid taping the confrontation yells out, “You pushed him first. I got it on film.” Garcia, pointing to the camera says, “I don’t care,” and seems to go after the kid with the camera.
The school’s principal, David Kabela, told Kaple, “I was shocked that this would happen here.”
He added, “From what I understand, there were words exchanged and some punches thrown. Then the custodian was grabbed by the neck and pulled down and beaten against the cement.”
The tape on YouTube ends with the skateboarder and custodian exchanging punches in the bushes and then the skateboarders flee.
Garcia has been with the school for several years. He sustained a broken nose, broken cheek bone and a black eye.
Police told Kaple that is appears from the video, that the custodian looked like the aggressor.
Sgt. Robert Bartle of the South Pasadena Police said, “He stood in front of the child and then pushed the kid — two or three times. At that point, the kid grabbed the janitor and the two of them got into a fight which resulted in some injuries to the janitor.”
Police have opened up an investigation into the fight and would like to talk to all of the parties involved.
Garcia has been treated and released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.