Glendale police officer charged with felony after kicking minor in head: Gascón

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A Glendale Police Department officer has been charged with assault after he allegedly kicked a minor in the head while taking that minor into custody after a reported shoplifting in 2021.

Gonzalo Zendejas, 39, is charged with one felony count of assault by a public officer, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a news release.

Zendejas was one of four officers involved in the June 5, 2021, incident at the Glendale Galleria. That evening, four officers responded to a reported shoplifting at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and video shared to social media showed four officers holding down an alleged thief while two of them punch him while another kicked him in the face.

Gascón identified Zendejas as the officer who kicked the minor in the head.

“While police officers face an extraordinarily challenging and demanding job while working to protect our communities, this responsibility does not excuse actions that endanger others or undermine public trust,” Gascón said in the release. “This incident is a serious violation of the duty to serve with integrity and respect. Our office’s commitment is to ensure that justice is served, and all individuals, regardless of their role or position, are held accountable for their actions.”

If convicted, Zendejas faces a maximum sentence of three years in county jail.

In a statement released after the charges were announced, the Police Department noted that all four officers involved were placed on administrative leave after the incident.

The department’s investigation remains ongoing “as the outcome was pending the completion of the criminal investigation,” police said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.