Calif. Highway Patrol officer could face serious charges for striking woman

A California Highway Patrol officer could face felony charges after a video showed him hitting a 51-year-old woman several times alongside Interstate 10.

A California Highway Patrol officer who was videotaped repeatedly striking a woman on the side of a Los Angeles freeway could face serious charges, the agency said Wednesday after forwarding its investigation to the district attorney.

Officer Daniel Andrew, who was put on a desk assignment after the incident, has been removed from duty and put on paid administrative leave, the CHP said.

The agency didn't reveal if it made a recommendation to prosecutors but said in a news release that its report outlined potentially serious charges he could face. It didn't specify possible charges.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office confirmed the case is under review. A separate, internal CHP investigation is ongoing.

The July 1 incident sparked outrage as video showed Andrew hitting Marlene Pinnock, 51, several times alongside Interstate 10.

Pinnock's attorney Caree Harper said District Attorney Jackie Lacey should file battery and attempted murder charges against the officer.

"I can't foresee any reason why she would not press felony charges against him," Harper said. "Our hope is that she acts swiftly."

Andrew's attorney James McGarry declined to comment on the case.

Andrew said in his report that Pinnock was a danger to herself and had tried to walk into traffic lanes. Drivers had called emergency dispatchers to report that a barefoot woman who appeared drunk or high was on the freeway shoulder.

Pinnock has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been off her medication for two to three months before the altercation with Andrew, Harper said.

In a previous interview with The Associated Press, Pinnock said she believed the officer was trying to kill her.

"He grabbed me, he threw me down, he started beating me," she said. "I felt like he was trying to kill me, beat me to death."

Pinnock filed a lawsuit against CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow and Andrew in federal court alleging civil rights violations. The lawsuit claims excessive force, assault, battery and a violation of due-process rights.

Andrew joined the highway patrol as a cadet in April 2012 and became an officer six months later.

AP writer Tami Abdollah contributed to this report.

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