California Sheriff Deputies Brutally Beat Man After Stolen Horse Pursuit

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Brutal police beating after stolen horse pursuit involving eight deputies in southern California caught on chopper camera.

UPDATE: Less than two weeks after a  man was seen on video being beaten and kicked by sheriff’s deputies as he was apparently trying to surrender, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $650,000 settlement with Francis Jared Pusok.

SBSun reported that t he settlement was negotiated between the county’s counsel, Pusok, and his attorneys, Jim Terrell and Sharon Brunner, on Friday. It was unanimously approved by county supervisors in a closed session meeting Tuesday, with neither a claim nor a lawsuit filed, county spokesman David Wert said.

The speed in which the matter was resolved by all parties is unprecedented in the county’s history.



Original report: Film crew was following deputies chase horse thief in California desert. Man falls off his horse, two deputies stun him with their Tasers. The suspect puts his hands behind his back and they then kick him in groin and head repeatedly before others join them.

In total, eight deputies surround the man kicking him for two minutes. San Bernardino County sheriff has called for investigation into the incident.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon ordered an immediate internal investigation Thursday into what he called “disturbing” video. NewsChopper4 showed the man falling off the horse, and then being stunned with a Taser by a sheriff’s deputy. The man then appeared to fall to the ground with his arms outstretched. Two deputies immediately descended on him and began punching him in the head and kneeing him in the groin.

The San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Office opened two investigations Thursday only hours after an NBC Los Angeles helicopter recorded deputies using a stun gun on a man on a stolen horse and then beating him repeatedly.

In the video, a sheriff’s helicopter can be seen landing next to the man, who falls off the horse and is stunned by one of the deputies. Two deputies begin punching him in the head and kneeing him in the groin. Then, three others arrive and join in the pummeling, which lasts about two minutes.

The sheriff’s office identified the man in a statement as Francis Jared Pusok, 30, of Apple Valley. It said Pusok was being treated at a hospital for undisclosed injuries.

NBC LA reports:

The sheriff’s office said deputies were serving a search warrant in connection with an identity theft investigation about 12:12 p.m. (3:12 p.m. ET) when Pusok fled in a vehicle. At some point, he stole a horse from a group of people in San Bernardino National Park and rode off through dirt trails into steep, rugged terrain, the statement said.

About two hours after the chase started, three deputies landed in a sheriff’s helicopter, spooking the horse, which threw Pusok off, according to the statement. “A Taser was deployed but was ineffective due to his loose clothing,” it said. “A use of force occurred during the arrest.”

Cynthia Bachman, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said that two deputies were being treated for dehydration and that a third was injured. That deputy was kicked by the horse, which was also injured during the pursuit, the sheriff’s statement said.

“The video surrounding this incident is disturbing and I have ordered an internal investigation be conducted immediately,” Sheriff John McMahon said. He said a special detail was also conducting a criminal investigation.

(Earlier UPDATE)


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