updated 12/7/2006 10:33:10 PM ET 2006-12-08T03:33:10

A police officer suspected of assaulting a handcuffed 16-year-old boy in a partially videotaped attack at a police station was arrested Thursday, authorities said.

Sean Joseph Meade, 41, was arrested for investigation of assault under the color of authority, Police Chief William J. Bratton said. The boy was not injured and remained in custody after Tuesday's attack, while police tried to find his guardians, Bratton said.

Meade, a 13-year member of the Los Angeles force, has been suspended, Bratton said at a news conference. The chief said he "felt that there was sufficient justification for an arrest" after he watched enhanced footage from the videotape Wednesday night.

Bratton said Meade assaulted the youth after he was arrested about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday in Chinatown for a curfew violation and taken to the station. The teenager was in a juvenile holding cell with his hands cuffed behind his back and did not physically provoke the attack, the chief said.

The suspected attack was partially recorded by a camera that had been set up to catch whoever had been vandalizing chairs in a detective's office. Bratton said Meade apparently was unaware of the camera and that the tape would not be made public because it is part of an internal investigation.

Bratton declined to provide details of what happened in the cell but said no weapon was involved.

He said the Los Angeles County prosecutor's office and the FBI were told of the investigation.

Meade was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. It was unclear whether he had legal counsel, which is often handled by the police union. In a statement, the union said its legal department would evaluate the facts and speak with the officer.

The investigation comes as the police department wrestles with the fallout from two other videos that recently were made public and involved arrests. Both were shot by passers-by.

One showed two officers holding down a suspected gang member on a curb as one punched him several times in the face. The other showed an officer using pepper spray on a handcuffed suspect who was then left in a closed patrol car. The officers were cleared of wrongdoing in both cases.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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