Coverage of a beating involving San Bernardino County deputies at the end of a high desert pursuit
The girlfriend of a man beaten by deputies caught on NewsChopper4's camera was shocked. Tony Shin and Gadi Schwartz report for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015. (Published Friday, Apr 10, 2015)
The San Bernardino County Sheriff ordered an internal investigation Thursday into an arrest caught on NBC Los Angeles' NewsChopper4 video that showed deputies beating a suspect when they caught up with him following a desert chase on horseback.
Aerial footage showed the man falling off the horse he was suspected of stealing during the pursuit in San Bernardino County Thursday afternoon.
He then appeared to be stunned with a Taser by a sheriff's deputy and fall to the ground with his arms outstretched. Two deputies immediately descended on him and appeared to punch him in the head and knee him in the groin, according to the footage, reviewed several times by NBC4.
The group surrounding the man grew to 11 sheriff's deputies.
In the two minutes after the man was stunned with a Taser, it appeared deputies kicked him 17 times, punched him 37 times and struck him with batons four times. Thirteen blows appeared to be to the head. The horse stood idly nearby.
The man did not appear to move from his position lying on the ground for more than 45 minutes. He did not appear to receive medical attention while deputies stood around him during that time.
The man, identified as Francis Jared Pusok, 30, of Apple Valley, was hospitalized with unknown injuries, authorities said.
Pusok's mother Anne Clemenson blasted the conduct of the deputies, and said she still does not know where her son is, or what condition he is in following the arrest.
"To me, it was like a joy ride 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?"
His girlfriend, Jolene Bindner, said she hasn't been able to get answers from the Sheriff's Department about Pusok's condition, let alone what hospital he's at.