A teenage girl was punched by her arresting officer Monday after she took the officer's baton and struck him repeatedly with it, according to police, according to Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View Police Department.
The incident, which occurred at Quetzal House -- a local home for teenage runaway girls -- began with an altercation between two of the shelter's residents at about 8:15 p.m. on May 9.
Two girls at Quetzal House had gotten into a fight, Wylie said, and one of them ran away afterward. Staff at the shelter reported the fight to police and the officer was attempting to conduct interviews in the hopes of tracking down the girl who fled.
However, the other teen involved in the fight -- a 16-year-old Quetzal House resident -- kept "butting in" while the officer was attempting to talk to staff, Wylie said. "She was impeding his ability to conduct an investigation," and the officer, after repeated requests and orders for the teen to stop, attempted to put the girl in handcuffs.
She fought back violently, Wylie said, and at one point was able to take the officer's baton from him. The teen started to strike the officer in the body with the baton. She then raised the night stick over her head and tried to bring it down on the officer's head, but he was able to block the blow with his forearm and punch the girl in the face with his other hand.
Wylie said that the officer had tried other means of subduing the teenager and only used force because he feared "a potentially fatal blow" from the baton -- which is made of very hard wood. The girl wielding the baton is a little taller than 5 feet and weighs about 250 pounds, Wylie said.
After the officer punched the girl, she dropped the baton and he took her into custody without any more trouble.
The girl was treated at the hospital for a broken nose and then booked into Juvenile Hall on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, Wylie said. Mountain View police are asking that the district attorney also charge the teen with assault on an officer and removing an officer's weapon.
The other girl involved in the fight returned to Quetzal House on her own and is no longer considered a runaway.
The officer suffered from a laceration and abrasion on his hand. His bullet-proof vest likely protected him from further bruising to his torso, Wylie speculated.