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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

MTA Picketer Struck by Car; Driver Arrested

October 17, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A bus driver walking the picket line outside MTA headquarters was struck by a car Monday, and the car driver was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Tom Impliazzo of Canoga Park was among about a dozen picketers at the Vignes Street entrance in Los Angeles when he was struck by a car leaving the garage about 10:25 a.m.

He rolled onto the hood and then off, and the car continued toward the entrance to the Hollywood Freeway. An MTA security force lieutenant, James Henry, followed in his car until the driver pulled over at Rampart Boulevard and 7th Street.

Impliazzo, 50, was in stable condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Donna Burton, who had been applying for a job at the MTA, was arrested, Officer Trevion Stokes said.

When Burton entered the garage earlier, Stokes said, "some words were exchanged" with strikers. As she left, striker Frank Marino of Tarzana said, "She was yelling. She was angry and wanted to get out."

For the last month, a delicate routine has been established between picketing bus drivers outside the MTA headquarters and cars passing them.

As a car enters or leaves the garage, the picketers are allowed to continue walking in a thin circle to block the driveway for 45 seconds, timed by uniformed MTA security officers. The picket line then parts for the car, and the routine repeats for the next one.

MTA security officer Louie Medrano said two or three other picketers have been struck. All the injuries have been minor.

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