Glendale police officer seen kicking teen in the face charged with assault. It was caught on video

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A Glendale police officer who was caught on video kicking a juvenile in the face while he was pinned down inside the Galleria mall has been charged with assault, prosecutors said Monday.

Gonzalo Zendejas, 39, was charged with one count of assault under color of authority for the incident, which took place in June 2021 as officers responded to a shoplifting call inside the Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

Video of the arrest, first published by CBS, shows multiple officers wrestling with and striking the teen while he’s being held down. Zendejas, who can be seen kicking the prone juvenile in the face, was the only officer charged. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the other officers involved in the arrest or the status of the teen who was struck.

“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,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in a statement. “This incident is a serious violation of the duty to serve with integrity and respect.”

Sgt. Vahe Abramyan, a Glendale police spokesman, said Zendejas has remained on administrative leave since the incident. The three other officers who took part in the arrest have since returned to work, Abramyan said.

Zendejas has yet to appear in court but faces up to three years in prison if convicted as charged. It was not immediately clear who his attorney was.

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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.