crimesider

Cop Punches Woman (VIDEO): What Really Happened During Jaywalking Scuffle?

Seattle Police Officer Ian Walsh is Seen Punching 17-year-old in Face (CBS/KIRO)

SEATTLE (CBS/KIRO/AP) More information has been released about what led a Seattle cop to punch a young woman in the face during a scuffle that was caught on video.

The video shows Officer Ian P. Walsh trying to arrest 19-year-old Marilyn Levias. The two were already struggling when Levias' friend, a 17-year-old, pushed the officer, and he responded by punching the friend in the face.

"Are you serious? Are you serious?," bystanders are heard saying.

According to probable cause documents, 19-year-old Marilyn Levias and a 17-year-old girl were in a group of four people who were jaywalking to get to their friend. Walsh approached the group and was attempting to gather information when Levias began walking away, documents stated.

He said to her, "You have jaywalked and you are required to identify yourself so that I can issue a citation, if you refuse you will be arrested for obstruction." Levias continued to walk away, the officer said.

At this time, a witness started recording video of the scene.

Walsh walked up to Levias and grabbed her arm and attempted to handcuff her, but "Levias began twisting around and pull away in an attempt to get away," documents said. As Walsh was handcuffing Levias, the 17-year-old girl ran up behind Walsh and pushed him, and a struggle ensued. The video shows Walsh throwing a punch and hitting the 17-year-old girl.

The 17-year-old was handcuffed and booked into the Youth Services Center for investigation of felony assault.

Levias was pulled away by witnesses, documents said. She was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for obstructing a police officer.

CBS Affiliate KIRO found court records that show Levias has been arrested for assaulting a police officer before. According to court documents, Levias kicked a King County Sheriff's deputy in the stomach while she resisted arrest at the Ruth Dykeman Center in Burien. She was living in the center last year in the care of Child Protective Services.

Acting Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz said at a news conference Tuesday the department is withholding judgment until an investigation is complete.

"Force never looks good. It's never pretty," Metz said. But he also noted, "We do have a number of concerns about the tactics the officer used and employed at the time."

In a news conference carried live on kirotv.com, Seattle Urban League CEO James Kelly called the punch an overreaction that recalled the kicking two officers delivered to a Hispanic suspect in an April 17 incident caught on video.

"The provocation of the 17-year-old may have presented a confrontation situation, but the use of violence in the form of a full-blown fist to the face was wrong," Kelly said.

The 17-year-old girl appeared in juvenile court Tuesday and the judge released her to the custody of her state-appointed guardians pending a filing decision on charges, and she will be back in court next week.

Levias is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

Reporting Contributed by CBS Affiliate KIRO

  • Edecio Martinez

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.