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County-USC Medical Center ER Nurse Attacked While Waiting For Bus Near Union Station

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An arrest has been made in the attack on a woman who was waiting for a bus early Thursday near Union Station.

The attack happened at about 5:10 a.m. at a bus stop at the southeast corner of Cesar Chavez and Vignes Street, according to Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo. The woman, who was described as being in her late 60s or 70s, was reportedly approached by a transient who slapped her.

The woman fell back and hit her head, and was rushed to County-USC Medical Center, where she reportedly works as an emergency room nurse. She was taken into surgery for her injuries and is in critical condition.

On Friday, family of the woman authorized County-USC officials to disclose the woman's identity, Sandra Shells, and her status, which remains critical.

The LAPD has arrested a man in the attack and is conducting a thorough investigation, Ubaldo said. The attack was caught on security cameras in the vicinity, and has already been turned over to authorities.

"Metro is appalled upon hearing of this incident," Ubaldo said in an email statement. He said that Metro's highest concern is the safety of their customers and the transportation agency has zero tolerance for such crimes.

Now, riders like Cayet Belington are concerned for their own safety in light of this terrifying incident. "Oh it scares me so much, I really don't want these things to happen to me, especially, I'm also an old lady." At 67-years-old, Belington says her primary concern when traveling is the large transient population, "You don't know who's coming in and out in this area," she continued.

Other patrons with the same concerns have already taken things another step when it comes to their well-being. "I take certain precautions, we need to. In my purse right now - I do carry a little switch blade with me, pepper spray, little things like that," said Melissa Perez, who takes the Metro to and from her job every day.

Ubaldo continued to advise that customers should report all public safety incidents via their "Metro Trans Watch App," or by calling (888) 950-7233).


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