Campus police pepper spray, arrest woman

Kristen Whitehurst

A woman was booked into LAPD Van Nuys jail after being arrested on charges of vandalism, resisting arrest and assault against an officer after a scuffle broke out in front of Manzanita Hall on Friday afternoon – one officer was allegedly bit and the other spit on, CSUN police said.

“In the course of her being taken into custody, three officers sustained injuries,” said CSUN’s police spokesperson, Christina Villalobos. “She was very combative and as the officers were attempting to get her into the patrol car, she further resisted by trying to hit the officers with her head and kick them with her feet.”

The incident, according to Villalobos, allegedly began outside the Matador Bookstore when a staff member called University Police to report that he recognized the female suspect as the individual who vandalized his car two days prior on May 9.

“This is an individual who is known for hanging out at the bookstore and had incidents with the police before,” Villalobos said. She also said the woman was not a CSUN student and that she was not clear if she had been violent with police before.

The suspect was described as a petite African American with her hair braided. She is in her mid-20s.

A group of students standing outside of Manzanita Hall also witnessed the incident.

Film sophomore Nicole Klepper was standing outside the building and talking on her cell phone when she was startled by the sound of a siren behind her. She then noticed the suspect walking near the edge of the building. The officer got out of the patrol car and yelled at the suspect to “get on the ground,” she said.

“I was kind of confused because I didn’t know who he was talking to,” Klepper said.

Klepper noted that the girl didn’t seem to pay the officer any attention.

“She just kept walking,” she said.

The officer then forced her to the pavement and sprayed pepper spray into the girl’s face, Klepper said.

“She was obviously resisting arrest, so they wrestled her to the ground,” Klepper said.

Another student was on the first floor of the building and was confused when he saw an officer inside the building.

“I thought it was weird that he (the officer) was looking at everyone,” said freshman journalism major Ben Panama.

He then saw a patrol car fly by the side of the building. The officer immediately ran out of the building and Panama said he followed him outside. There he saw the young woman being restrained by the officers and she appeared to be calm, he said.

“By the time they had her cuffed, she wasn’t resisting anymore,” Panama said.

Ernesto Garcia, an environmental and occupational health freshman said that he was walking with another student, toward the B3 parking lot when they saw a police car come out of the lot driving toward Manzanita Hall. They saw the officer get out of the car, but Garcia said he did not hear exactly what was said.

Garvin said he heard him say something like “stop” before the officer “took her down in the grass.”

They both saw the woman initially ignoring the officer’s commands.

“He started struggling with her. She swung at him and she missed,” Garcia said.