CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) — A jury in Long Beach is deliberating a verdict in the case of an alleged beating of an elderly wheelchair-bound man by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver more than three years ago.
The incident, which was captured on video, happened in Lakewood in July 2010.
A then-71-year-old Pico Rivera man had an exchange of words with the female bus driver for not stopping at his destination.
“The bus ramp has now been retracted and has closed on him, slamming him on his legs,” said the victim’s attorney, Carl Douglas. “The most shocking thing is watching a crippled 71-year-old man flying off the bus and then you see a 230-pound woman with her body over him, pummeling him five to eight times. She stayed on him for four entire minutes. It’s lucky he didn’t die.”
Oscar Rene Gutierrez, also the victim’s attorney, said his client’s beating was senseless.
“We just see, essentially, a mixed marital arts-style beating of an older man,” he said. “She sat on him, she punched him in the face, she rolled up her sleeves, her physical attack on him began before he even uttered any sort of slur or anything offensive. And he never hit her.”
Douglas added, “He suffered a broken hand, an injured shoulder, cuts on his face and significant emotional scars.”
CBS2’s Suraya Fadel reported that the video also showed the passenger getting up from his wheelchair at times and addressing the driver.
At one point, he points his cane at her.
The driver claimed she was acting in self-defense by straddling, punching and kicking the victim several times.
The woman worked for the MTA for 12 years. She was terminated and lost her appeal to keep her job.
Both the driver and passenger took the stand during seven days of testimony that is now in the hands of the jury.
Day two of deliberations begins Wednesday.