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Officer suffers bite wound while trying to subdue woman

April 30, 2012

A Glendale police officer suffered a bite wound to the hand Saturday as he tried to break up a fight between a lesbian couple, one of whom had to be subdued with a Taser.

Glendale residents Melissa Vasquez and Stephanie Trujillo, both 25, were arrested about 7:35 p.m. in the 300 block of Burchett Street on suspicion of spousal assault and battery on a police officer.

Police arrived to the couple's apartment building when they heard a woman in a subterranean parking structure screaming for help. When they went to investigate, they saw Vasquez sprawled on the ground with Trujillo allegedly on top of her and screaming.

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Police used a Taser gun to subdue and restrain Trujillo, who also allegedly tried to bite a paramedic while en route to Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

While at the hospital, she tried to break away from her restraints and bit a police officer on his forearm as he tried to hold her down, drawing blood, Lorenz said.

Meanwhile, a handcuffed Vasquez allegedly started kicking officers while still on the ground, but she was eventually restrained, police said.

Vasquez later told officers that she had gotten into an argument with Trujillo and tried to drive away, but stopped when Trujillo opened her car door and begged her to stay, according to police.

She quickly exited her car and ran toward the stairs when she allegedly tripped and fell, prompting Trujillo to cry, according to reports. Trujillo continued to beg Vasquez to stay.

Vasquez claimed that the argument never became physical, but that she instead tripped and fell as she ran toward the garage’s stairs.

“This is one of those things that it’s hard for law enforcement to interject into the situation when both parties refuse help,” Lorenz said.

The officer who suffered a bite wound was treated at a hospital and has since returned to work, Lorenz added.

Saturday’s run-in with police wasn’t a first. Over the past two years, police have responded to numerous calls involving the pair, according to police records.

In August, Trujillo was arrested after they allegedly got into an altercation over a knife and ended up cutting each other, according to police reports.

Prosecutors declined to press charges after the women reportedly told police that they had originally fabricated the reasons for the wounds.

-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA

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