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DID TEEN OBSTRUCT PROBE OF STEPDAD’S ALLEGED ABUSE?

SHARE DID TEEN OBSTRUCT PROBE OF STEPDAD’S ALLEGED ABUSE?

A teenager whose beating by police was captured on videotape had blocked the door when a social worker came to investigate allegations that his stepfather was abusing young girls.

Witnesses and lawyers said Thursday that Officer Michael Jackson struck Felipe Soltero, 17, after Soltero refused to let Jackson or the social worker into his house this past Friday. The videotape was broadcast nationally Tuesday.The stepfather, Manuel Sigala, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of lewd acts on a child. He was released a day later because prosecutors had insufficient evidence to file charges, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

Soltero said that when the social worker came to his trailer home, "she told me, `I'm taking your sisters away because it's not good in your house. Your mama's not here."'

The social worker felt threatened enough to run to a neighbor's home to call police. When Jackson arrived, Soltero again blocked the door and "got a little belligerent," but didn't strike the officer, Spector said.

The 200-pound officer wrestled with the 5-foot-4, 130-pound youth for several minutes and exchanged punches.

Then Soltero's sister intervened and punched the officer, neighbors said. Both men stood up.

"At that point Jackson for the first time draws his baton . . . and that's where the tape starts," Hannon said.

Soltero said he suffered a concussion and a nerve injury to an elbow.