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Caltrain conductor forced on leave after violent confrontation

A Caltrain conductor got a belligerent passenger off a train this weekend, but was taken off duty during the incident investigation.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
New details are emerging about a violent confrontation caught on camera at the San Antonio Caltrain station in Mountain View.

A Caltrain conductor confronted a belligerent passenger over the weekend. Now the conductor has been taken off duty while the entire incident is being investigated.

ABC7 News spoke to several Caltrain passengers who think the conductor used excessive force on the woman. However, one legal analyst said the conductor did nothing wrong and should be back at work.

The trouble started on board a Caltrain on Saturday. On video, you can see a woman hitting a female conductor with her purse. And even off the train, the beating continues. The male conductor pushes the woman, but when he turns around she hits him in the head with her purse too. He kicks her and then pushes the woman hard.

Many passengers watching the video were shocked the moment the woman went down. The male conductor, identified by a union source as Bruce Thompson, has been off duty since. Caltrain would only confirmed he's been removed from service, but would not say why.

Legal analyst Steven Clark said, "Making him the fall guy here, I think, is concerning."

Clark doesn't understand why Thompson isn't back on the job, especially since his female counterpart is.

ABC7 News tried to ask Thompson's employer, Transit America Services Inc., but no one answered.

Clark, meantime, watched the video, frame by frame. He said, "He has to protect the public. He did not do anything that was so excessive that it appears to be beyond the bounds of reasonableness."

Passengers had mixed reactions.

Caltrain rider Miranda Von Stockhausen said, "He was just doing his job."

Caltrain rider Prakash Arunachalam said, "It does look excessive."

The suspect, 22-year-old Maria Posada-Valdarrama, was arrested for assault. She was not seriously injured when she hit the ground.

The female Caltrain operator suffered a serious concussion and had to be hospitalized.
Related Topics:
news attack crime assault caught on tape caught on camera caltrain Mountain View
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