Several San Bernadino County Sheriff deputies allegedly piled on and beat a suspect who stole a horse on Thursday afternoon in San Bernadino County.
Aerial video footage captured by NewsChopper4 showed the suspect falling off the horse. He reacted as though he had been shot by a taser gun. Although there were a just a few deputies initially trying to restrain the man, the number grew to eleven within a minute. The majority of them appeared to be punching and kicking the downed horseback-rider. The Los Angeles Times has reported that 10 of the deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave.
According to a report by NBC 4 Southern California, deputies appeared to kick him 17 times, punched him 37 times and struck him with batons four times. They report that 13 blows appeared to be to the head. The Sheriff’s department ordered an internal investigation on Thursday.
Jared Pusok, 30, of Apple Valley, has been identified as the man who was allegedly beaten. He was hospitalized and his injuries are not known. Pusok’s mother Anne Clemenson expressed outrage at the deputies conduct and doesn’t know where her son is being held or what his conditions are.
“To me, it was like a joyride for the cops to do this to him. (It was) brutality. He didn’t deserve something like that,” Clemenson said. “To tase him, the beatings that I see them doing to him — it’s uncalled for. You see him laying down, and they continue to kick him, hitting him and punching him. Why?”
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told NBC4, “I can certainly understand the concerns in the community based on what they saw on the video… I’m disturbed by what I see in the video. But I don’t need to jump to conclusions at this point, until we do a complete and thorough investigation. If our deputy sheriff’s did something wrong, they’ll be put off work and they’ll be dealt with appropriately, all in accordance with the law as well as our department policy.”