HESPERIA, San Bernardino County (CBS SF) – The San Bernardino County sheriff has ordered an investigation after a video surfaced of deputies who chased down a suspected horse thief and beat him badly.
"It is disturbing and it appears on its face that there are violations of policy, but that will ultimately be determined in the investigation and to what degree," Sheriff John McMahon said in the Los Angeles Times.
Video taken by a Los Angeles TV station showed the suspected horse thief getting tossed from the horse and deputies making the arrest.
First, it appears they use a stun gun, but they aren't done. At least two deputies appear to start kicking the suspect and punching him, even though he is on the ground with his hands behind his back.
Several other deputies show up and the beating keeps going for about two minutes.
The suspect is identified as 30-year-old Francis Pusok.
The incident started when deputies went to serve him a warrant and Pusok first fled in a car, according to authorities. At some point, he ditched the car and allegedly took the horse.
Jolene Binder, Pusok's girlfriend, said this isn't the man she knows. "He's not the one that will come home from work and dismiss the kids, he'll sit and play with them." Binder told reporters at a briefing Thursday night. "He's a good person. And every time I tried to tell that to an officer they look at me like 'Oh, well then, why are we here?'"
The suspect went to the hospital for his injuries. Three deputies were injured, two of them became dehydrated, while a third was kicked by the horse.
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