LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Two women were in a downtown Los Angeles subway when one of them was removed from a Metro train for apparently refusing a police officer’s order to take her foot down from a seat.

Since the altercation, both the Los Angeles Police Department and Metro have made statements regarding the situation, as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The incident occurred around 3 p.m. Monday on the Metro Red Line when rider Bethany Nava was seen on video being asked by the officer to stand up from her seat. (WARNING: Video contains adult language)

When she refused, the unidentified officer was seen forcibly removing the 18-year-old Nava from her seat and taking her by her arm off the train.

“I am extremely disappointed, our riders deserve better,” Metro CEO Phil Washington said in a statement. “We want the Metro system to be a safe environment for everyone. I expect more from our law enforcement partners. This incident is still under investigation, but I want to be clear: this is not the kind of policing I want on our system.”

Mayor Garcetti also commented on the situation, saying body cameras on the officers will help shed more light on the incident.

“My expectation of the MTA….. is that there will be courtesy from everyone. I expect that from the individuals who ride – I expect that from law enforcement,” Garcetti said. “I know MTA and LAPD has launched an investigation. I also know that videos sometimes tell one picture. We’ll have the videos that officers have – as well as the videos that were made.”

The woman’s mother says she has hired a lawyer.

Upon her removal, Nava was seen yelling and pointing her finger at the sergeant as another woman, who was later identified as Selena Lechuga, 22, approaches and also begins harassing the officer.

After asking Lechuga to back away from the scene, the officer warns her she is “impeding” the investigation and radios for backup.

“I’m not going to leave because I’m going to stand up for my people no matter what,” Lechuga is heard responding to the officer.

Moments later, five additional officers arrived on scene and took both Nava and Lechuga into custody.

During her arrest, Lechuga is heard yelling expletives at the officers and shouting, “This is racism! This is what we are!”

She is also seen on video spitting at one of the officers and arrested on suspicion of battery.

Police later told CBS2 that Nava, who was cited and later released, was being loud and boisterous on the train and had violated the disorderly conduct code under Metro rules.

“The LAPD is responsible for enforcing criminal violations and violations of the MTA’s Code of Conduct to ensure a safe and peaceful transit experience for everyone,” a statement from the LAPD reads in part. “We are committed to doing so in a fair, respectful and professional manner which is the hallmark of the thousands of police officers protecting Los Angeles every day.”

CBS2’s Tom Wait spoke to a couple riders and they were divided.

“Take your feet off the seat, he’s doing his job,” a man said.

“It seems excessive for the crime we’re discussing, now if she had been ya know, smoking crack like I’ve seen other people do on the train, that’s a different story,” a female rider said.

The Los Angeles Metro is patrolled by a multi-agency law enforcement partnership that includes the LAPD, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Long Beach Police Department, as well as Metro’s own security personnel.

Lately, the LAPD has been doing a lot of code of conduct work on the trains. Not putting a foot or feet on a seat in front of you is part of the code of conduct.

The officer is still on the job pending the investigation.

Comments (44)
  1. Arrested? There is no way this is an arrestable offence, nor is standing up for the girl an arrestable offence. The idea that police are an absolute authority and can command you do to anything at all is absurd. Police aren’t hired to go around demanding whatever they want from citizens.

    1. Enki Dingir says:

      Alex, you could not be more wrong. She disobeyed a lawful order by a uniformed police officer. People like you and this embarrassment to her family need to understand that there are rules in place and police are there to enforce the rules with the ability to apply force if one refuses to comply. Society exists to maintain civility and order, but people like you and this girl are nothing more than antisocial delinquents. Go ahead and think the rules do not apply to you, I hope you learn the hard way.

    2. Summer Smith says:

      She was cited. I do not believe she was arrested.

    3. John Smith says:

      They remind me of illegal alien dreamers that have been making demands on our country. Raised with no respect for our laws and officials. Arrogant!

  2. Power trip on both side, these are Trump Days…

  3. Good for the LAPD!!! Learn some respect kids. Respect rules, respect others, respect property and respect an officer’s request to enforce a rule. You DON’T have a right to break the rules!!!
    Thank you LAPD for trying to keep our trains a little more civilized. She was probably in a seat reserved for the elderly!

  4. just another example of teens who do not follow rules and feel entitled. what was so difficult about taking your feet down. i am so glad the cop did not back down. there must be consequences for breaking the rules.

  5. Our society needs to quit making excuses for people who choose to disrespect the society to which these people live. These people rather male or female have been raised without respect of themselves and of all others and property. The person that was involved in this situation was asked to remove there feet from the seat by a person in uniform who is on the redline to protect each and every person who chooses to ride the line equally. Unfortunately our society is at a point when officer’s have to be used to police these people who believe that it is OK to live there life being disrespectful outside of their own home.This person decided to not follow the request of the official making the request. That is when she decided to not follow what was requested of her. She needs to own her responsibility for what happen to her. If she had complied with the request it would have ended then. Running her mouth also showing disrespect and causing the escalation. Many people are not willing to give up their personal vehicles to ride public transportation because of these disrespectful people tagging defacing and making people fear for their own safety. Then we have a news reporter from channel 2 and Kcal 9 obviously reporting the story with his own personal feelings into this report. Reporters should do just that. Report the story without trying to add there own feels into the story. This type of reporting only adds to the unrest between many people. I think that this reporter reports allot of his reporting in which he reports the it telling it in a manner that indicates his own feelings. It’s really pretty simple teach your children respect and to take ownership and responsibility for there actions.

  6. The reporter lied. He said 6 police showed up. That simply not true. Watch the video and count them; there were many more. Methinks someone voted for Trump and is pretending they’re not racist.

  7. Dwain Gallo says:

    Both of these(B-WORD) should have been arrested. ICE should have been called too

  8. I got my ass chewed in Italy for falling asleep on a train with my shoes on the seat in front of me. I was woken up by a transit authority guy yelling “Scarpas! Scarpas!” (Shoes in Italian)…he was right, I was wrong. I removed my feet and apologized. Then I wondered how many other idiots put their filthy feet on the seats that other people have to end up sitting in. Lesson learned, no big deal. These young “ladies” should consider the rest of the riders that will be in that car at some point and lose the attitude of entitlement. Anarchy and disobedience sounds like a great idea until it actually happens. There are rules, no matter how trivial they may seem, for a reason.

    1. Thomas Brady says:

      I had a similar experience in Germany. Was the sole passenger on the tram one afternoon and rested my foot on the seat ahead of me. The driver stopped, turned around to face me and yelled something in German. I took my foot down immediately and he then gave me a loud “Ja”. That public scolding comes to mind every time I see this happen (and it happens a lot here in Denver). I thought the LA officer handled the verbal abuse and f-bombs hurled at him in a professional manner (boy the mouths on those 2 young women).

  9. lopezrizzi says:

    Good for the LAPD- I assure you, she will NEVER put her feet on the seat in front of her again. She went home taught a lesson-

  10. How can CBS speak of this girl in a positive tone!!!??? What she did was wrong by disobeying a lawful order. The officer was not abusive, and used the minimum force required to perform his duty. As for the women who interfered, she obviously has no clue how the law works. Obstructing Justice – don’t do it – that IS illegal and you WILL get arrested. People (and by this I mean kids) think they are smarter with their cell phones- it has video and all that good wikipedia access!

    However, think about this…

    If you do not obey a lawful order, you delegitimize the government. Without a legitimate government, there would be anarchy. Anarchy is not democratic, and not what America’s values are. If you want to be a good samaritan, OBEY the law, and if you disagree, settle it in COURT.

    Take a history class and learn how the process started. Take a political science class and learn how the system works. Take a criminal justice class and learn how to interpret the law. Take anything to get yourself better educated.

    But.. for God’s sake, take your damn feet off the seat and learn some respect.

  11. Bill George says:

    She had her feet on her own seat people – not someone else’s seat. That is normal thing for people to do. She was not blocking anyone else from being seated. While it may not be “professional posture” – that is not a crime nor a violation. The cop told her to take her feet off to display his authority & she refused, well within her rights, though disrespectful. One cannot be arrested for disrespect, you can only be cited for an infraction of the law & only arrested for a serious violation. How could people rush into judgement without learning the facts – Seriously??

  12. Mike Kim says:

    6-05-050 blocking The following acts are prohibited in Metro facilities and vehicles:

    F. Reclining on, placing objects on, or blocking a seat. G. Occupying more than one seat.

    Thank you LAPD for being the voice for majority of Metro riders. Us, rule abiding riders are often afraid to speak up to rule breaking thugs like the video.

  13. Victimizing people for victimless crimes. You know who supported such behavior? Nazi’s. Legal positivism is the lowest form of moral maturity. Ask yourself, who was her victim? Now ask yourself who was the only victim in this scenario.

  14. Well, then let’s just forget about rules on Metro trains. If you don’t like a rule, then just ignore it.

  15. Little snot. Simple request. Take your feet off the chair. Simple request. Little snot.

  16. Let’s all go to her house and walk on her sofa!! Basic courtesy.

  17. spanielpatter14 says:

    No, the officer’s actions were not excessive. He told the girl to get her feet off the other seat; thereby giving her a chance to comply with the rules of the train; and she refused. Why have rules at all if no one is willing to enforce them? She continued to resist the officer’s lawful actions in removing her from the train; hence the arrest. I have watched the video; I saw no evidence of police brutality; he had to pull her off the train because she was clinging to a bar. He did not scream/yell at her or insult her or hurt her. (I would have been sorely tempted to do so in his place) The girl was a foolish, arrogant brat and deserved what she got.

  18. How about being polite and listening to the officer… nope… she went from a city ticket (prob a warning really) to a misdemeanor arrest… by her own actions. Why can’t people be civil anymore?

  19. I don’t think that young people should use such language, it shows no respect and it makes them look uneducated and crude. We are a society of rules and laws. It’s basic courtesy to keep your feet off of a chair. Because that is where others sit. It’s so sad to see how our society is becoming lawless and belligerent. To spit on an officer is the lowest of the low. That is assault and that woman should be charged as such. What times we are living in. Los Angeles seems to be lawless.

  20. She deserved to be arrested; for this incident. She lacks respect for anyone but herself. First, she occupies two seats even though it is a crowded train, second of all when asked to stop it and leave the train she refused. She is merely just selfish, and she needs a lesson in humility. If you think you got the right to occupy two seats, then pay two tickets or what you do is stealing and stealing is against the law.

  21. St Williams says:

    If you don’t want to obey the rules on the Metro Line or any other form of Public Transportation, then drive your OWN car, ride your OWN bike or walk. The “no feet in the seat” rule is written clearly in English and Spanish on the platform and on the train itself. If you can’t read, then get a translator, but the Rules apply to everyone. So now her mother has a lawyer!!!! On what grounds??? Your daughter was being belligerent, ignorant, disrespectful and disobedient. Perhaps Metro should sue you and your daughter, duh!!!

  22. James Clark says:

    The Police officer was completely in the right. He asked her to remove her foot and she did not. He is just trying to do his job. Ridership is down on metro trains and busses, because people feel un safe. The Police have a job to do just let them do that job. As far as the bystanders getting involved that just made things worse. How would you like to be cursed at and spit on just for doing your job and trying to make the train system safe. There is a well known book BROKEN WINDOWS. If little infractions are ignored, soon those infractions will get worse and worse. I applaud that police officer for keeping his cool and acting like a well trained officer.

  23. You slaves forget, this isn’t the United states anymore. Remember your place , carry your papers, and do as you are told. De-escalation techniques could have been implemented. The entire incident may serve to illustrate just how easy it is to become a criminal. Americans used to question authority now they worship it. Sitting on a seat improperly is a crime ?

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