The Los Angeles Fire Department is investigating an incident captured on video in which firefighters at a fire station in Silver Lake beat and forcibly remove a transient who allegedly tried to break into the facility.
“The department launched an internal investigation. Concurrently, the Los Angeles Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation,” Cheryl Getuiza, the LAFD’s government affairs director, told City News Service on Saturday. “Until the completion of the investigations, the members involved have been detailed to administrative duties.”
She confirmed that the fire department filed a restraining order against the individual seen in that video.
The incident occurred a little before 2 p.m. Friday at Fire Station 6, at 326 N. Virgil Ave. The video, first reported by ABC7, shows three firefighters forcibly removing the man from the station grounds, punching and kicking him as they dragged him off the premises toward the sidewalk.
The man shown in the video was taken into custody and placed on a “5150 hold,” LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman told City News Service. That allows an adult experiencing a mental health crisis to be involuntarily detained for a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation and treatment, if it is believed they are a danger to themselves or others.
“They’ve had encounters with this individual before,” Eisenman said.
Cristina Ruiz, who lives behind the fire station, told ABC7 that the man seen in the video — wearing a wig — is “a troublemaker.”
“Sometimes he throws bottles in the middle of the street. He’s a bad person. So bad. He always fights with other homeless, with our residents,” she told the station.