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Worker allegedly beats young man at L.A. County probation camp

Officials are investigating. The Probation Department, which is under federal oversight, is to submit a report this month on compliance with reforms, including one ensuring that force isn't excessive.

November 05, 2011|By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County probation officials are investigating an employee who allegedly beat a young man in a probation camp bathroom earlier this week.

The probe comes at a critical time for the county's troubled Probation Department, which has been under federal oversight. Probation officials are scheduled to submit a report to federal investigators later this month outlining the department's compliance with 41 reforms, including developing a policy to ensure that employees use the least amount of force possible.

Probation officials, including acting Chief Cal Remington, have said they believe the department will meet the vast majority of the requirements, although they are unsure if it will be enough to lift federal oversight.

The alleged beating happened about 1 p.m. Wednesday in a restroom at the Challenger Memorial Youth Center in Lancaster, according to sources who have been briefed on the incident. It is unclear what started the altercation, but the18-year-old was apparently struck in the face by a probation employee and then taken to a local hospital. The employee has been removed from the camp while officials investigate.

Remington and other probation officials did not respond to calls or emails.

Sheriff's deputies visited the camp Wednesday but did not find enough evidence to file a criminal report, according to a Sheriff's Department spokeswoman.

jason.song@latimes.com

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