Woman beaten by CHP officer in L.A.: ‘I just want justice done’

Marlene Pinnock, left, and her attorney, Caree Harper, speak to reporters on Aug. 20.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A woman who was punched repeatedly by a California Highway Patrol officer on the 10 Freeway said she wants “justice done” and for the officers to be put behind bars.

The woman, identified by her attorney as 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock, made the comments to The Times on Wednesday, the same day the CHP announced that the officer involved in the incident, Daniel Andrew, had been stripped of his duties and could face “potentially serious charges.”

The CHP said it has turned over the results of its criminal investigation to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, which is reviewing the case for possible charges.

“I just want to see justice done and a good recovery for me,” Pinnock said. “And him go to jail for what he has done.”


The incident attracted widespread attention after a video of the encounter -- shot by a passing motorist -- was posted to YouTube and aired on several television news stations. The video shows a uniformed CHP officer pinning a woman to the ground and repeatedly punching her, landing at least nine blows.

Pinnock told The Times on Wednesday that she did nothing to provoke the officer. She said she was walking to a place to sleep that night when the officer came up behind her. Pinnock said that as she then screamed, the officer “pulled me back and threw me on the ground.”

The officer “just started punching me and socking me and beating me,” Pinnock said. “Blow after blow and blow after blow. He just wouldn’t stop.”

“I couldn’t believe this was happening to me,” she said. “I did nothing to provoke him to do this to me. I gave him no reason.”


The CHP has said the officer was trying to keep the woman from walking into rush-hour traffic and hurting herself or others. A CHP incident summary said that when the officer arrived, she ignored his commands and instead walked into the freeway’s lanes. She then became “physically combative,” the report said, and “a physical altercation occurred.”

Pinnock was hospitalized after the incident and placed on a mental health hold. She said Wednesday that she was continuing to recover from injuries suffered as a result of the officer’s punches. She displayed a lump on her upper right arm and scars from scratches on her back.

Pinnock’s attorney, Caree Harper, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Pinnock against Andrew and CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow, alleging that Andrew used excessive force.

Harper acknowledged that her client has had “emotional and mental challenges” but declined to say whether Pinnock had ever been prescribed medication for those issues or formally diagnosed with mental health problems.


An attorney representing Andrew in the lawsuit declined to comment on the criminal investigation.

The CHP said a separate internal investigation into the incident was ongoing and that the agency would “continue to cooperate” with the district attorney’s office in the criminal inquiry.

Follow the reporter on Twitter: @katemather