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Officer Accused of Kicking Man Receives Therapy

July 17, 1992|JEFF PRUGH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Los Angeles police officer, who is awaiting trial on a charge that he mistreated and kicked a jaywalker in Canoga Park, is undergoing therapy for abusive behavior, a spokesman for the city attorney's office said Thursday.

Clark W. Baker, 34, an 11-year veteran, was cleared this week by a Police Department Board of Rights of misconduct charges based on the same accusation.

On July 6, Baker began 24 one-hour therapy sessions at the Center Against Abusive Behavior, a privately owned facility with offices in Los Angeles and Pasadena, the city attorney's spokesman said.

How Baker responds to the treatment will be taken into account when he comes to trial Sept. 17 on a misdemeanor battery count, he said.

Baker was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, police officials said this week that a review by the Board of Rights found no evidence to support allegations that Baker, who was assigned to the Valley Traffic Division, used excessive force against Thomas Chavez, 22, last July 19 after Chavez crossed Roscoe Boulevard in the 21800 block.

Witnesses told investigators that when Chavez refused to sign the citation, Baker slapped a pack of chewing gum from Chavez's hand, twisted his wrists behind his back, forced him to the ground and kicked him in the stomach several times. Chavez later said that he was unable to pay the fine and that he believed that signing the citation was an admission of guilt.

On March 2, Baker pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor battery charge. If convicted, the officer would face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine, Deputy City Atty. Alice Hand said.

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