Woman who beat parking officer given home detention


In November of 2006, thirty-year-old Lina Magalalio chased parking control officer Angelina Barsi to a cafe after getting a ticket. Magalalio repeatedly punched her until bystanders intervened. Barsi dislocated her shoulder during the attack.

Parking control officers say their job has become more and more dangerous.

"People getting hit with lead pipes in the head, people being beat with bats," said parking control supervisor Nancy Amaya.

This unprovoked attack became a rallying cry for the officers who packed the courtroom.

Magalalio pleaded guilty to felony assault and battery charges in a previous hearing. Friday was sentencing day. The prosecution wanted three years in prison. The defense wanted probation.

Judge Jeff Ross gave Magalalio six months home detention and five years probation, saying she had no past record and was the sole provider for her 8-year-old son and sick mother.

Her attorney, Joe O'Sullivan, says the judge did the right thing.

"Because it was aberrational conduct, she will never do it again," he said. "She never did it before."

The sentence angered officers and their union leaders.

"If this were to happen to a police officer, we would not be discussing home detention," said Leah Berlanga with SEIU Local 1021.

In court, Barsi told the judge home detention was a joke and that her assailant needed to go to jail.

ABC7 asked Barsi what she wants to say to her assailant.

"I would say that I hope you would have better judgment being a mother and just think about what you do before you do it," she said.

Magalalio apologized to Barsi as she did previously in court.

"It's totally out of character for me, but I just basically apologized," she said. "I just want to move forward and try to forget about what happened."

There have been 13 assaults on parking control officers this year -- about one a month. The officers who came to court wanted the judge to send a strong message to motorists. However, they say that did not happen.

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