LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A man was in custody Thursday for allegedly hitting a Los Angeles police officer on the head with a snare drum during the May Day protests.

Brian Mendoza, 23, was arrested on Wednesday and booked on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, according to Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French.

The suspect allegedly struck the officer on the head from behind on Tuesday afternoon, and the blow put a dent in her helmet.

The attack was caught on videotape by Tony Echevarria, a photographer who has been covering protests since the Occupy L.A. days at City Hall.

In the video clip, the female officer walked past the suspect to join other officers on a skirmish line. He grabbed his drum and hit the officer on the back of the head, causing her to tumble forward.

“This was a cowardly attack from the rear, entirely unprovoked that could have seriously, seriously injured this young police officer and ended her career and even ended her life,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

The officer, who was almost knocked off her feet, suffered a concussion and was resting at home Wednesday.

Mendoza was booked for a felony and was being held without bail, according to the Sheriff’s Department.


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