Security officers lose jobs over trolley beating

LA MESA - Two security officers involved in an altercation on board a trolley were let go from their jobs this week.

The incident happened Aug. 18 at a trolley station on 70th Street in La Mesa.

In video obtained by Team 10 through a public records request, two security officers walk onto the trolley and towards the man. The fight begins immediately but it is not clear why.

"They would beat him, beat him and beat him. They then would stop to take a breath and continue beating on him," one witness, Lynn Riggs, said.

The video then shows what seems like a break in the action, but then the officers start again. One of the officers pounds the man three more times on his back, and then the officers start striking him with batons.

The passenger, Felipe Vedoy, said it all started outside the trolley. Vedoy said he was confronted by the security officers because he was rolling a cigarette.

"Told me that I had to leave and that, um, I wasn't going to be catchin' (sic) the next trolley because there was no smoking there," he said, adding that "I wasn't even smoking. I was rolling it up and I put it in my ear."

Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) issued a news release on Friday stating the two security officers involved were no longer employed by Transit Systems Security (TSS), which is under contract with MTS. They also said they would be reinforcing their existing policies and procedures.

"This incident never should have happened and we will take all appropriate steps internally and with TSS to help prevent future occurrences," said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski. "We do not tolerate that kind of behavior."

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