Sheriff deputy accused of beating Nipomo man

August 2, 2012

A Nipomo man contends a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputy assaulted him after spotting him driving about 15 miles an hour over the speed limit on July 15. [Tribune]

Jesus Raul Ruiz, 28, told the Tribune deputy Steven Hurl shocked him with a taser and then hit him with a club in the thighs and the legs. Hurl had followed Ruiz, his girlfriend  Ashley Rodriguez and her 7-year-old into a friends driveway. Rodriguez and her son went into the house before the deputy ordered Ruiz to place his hands in the air.

After rendering Ruiz  frozen through the use of the taser, Hurl allegedly clubbed Ruiz six times. Ruiz was then detained and handcuffed along with Rodriguez and Ruiz’s brother, 22-year-old Edgar Gutierrez. Officers did not arrest Rodriguez or Gutierrez. And though they detained Ruiz, he was never charged with a crime.

Hurl is no longer with the sheriff’s department.


30 Comments

  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Nashua, New Hampshire:

    Police tasered a woman who does not speak English when she failed to understand their demand to leave a store. [The store manager had asked police to remove her when she attempted to video-record customers purchasing ihones. The important issue here is that tasers are potentially lethal weapons to be used only as a last resort to subdue those who present an imminent threat to police officers. Increasingly, they now are being used even against non-threatening individuals who easily could be subdued by traditional martial-arts techniques in which police are well trained.]
    PrisonPlanet 2012 Dec 12

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/video-woman-brutally-tased-by-police-for-trying-to-buy-iphones.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Gordo says:

    My question is if the deputy was “let go” ie. fired because of this incident why didn’t the sheriff’s office release the story instead of the man’s attorney. Either their is more to the story (like maybe the guy had it coming) or they hoped the story would not come out, which is pure ignorance. Either way where is the transparency we were promised. I don’t know who is giving Sheriff Parkinson advice on public relations, but whoever it is they ought to hang him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  3. danika says:

    Remind me again, who pays the salaries and benefits of LEOs everywhere? Please also remind them of the answer to my question, because many seem to have forgotten.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 15

  4. jumping in says:

    LE are taught to come in screaming and yelling. They like to create what Malcolm Gladwell in “Blink” refers to as mind-blindness by creating confusion by power and control. This tactic is used to get false confessions, create anxiety and panic in subjects and giving the LE another reason to arrest you. The calmer you remain or ask simple questions such as “why?” even in a normal speaking voice when you have done nothing wrong makes them angry. It would not surprize me to find the same sort action in the tazer case in Morro Bay recently. As far as the public relations filtering the law enforcement stories I’m pretty sure if it was any joe citizen they would throw legal rights and privacy right out the window.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

  5. givemeabreak says:

    What is up with our Sheriffs department?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

    • choprzrul says:

      The biggest problem with the Sheriff’s department is that Cortez didn’t get elected. Are you happy with your vote for the slick talking, good looking candidate SLO county?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

      • Gordo says:

        Actually, yes I am happy with our new sheriff. There seems to be more accountability and more involvement within the community than under Sheriff Hedges. Sheriff Parkinson took over the county narcotics task force, which was a train wreck, and redirected those resources towards anti gang efforts. As a resident of Paso Robles I appreciated the effort Sheriff Parkinson and his deputies made last September in quieting our streets by putting dozens of deputies on patrol following a gang shooting on Spring Street.
        These recent stories of misconduct by deputies appear to have been handled appropriately. What I do want is to hear from our Sheriff about what the real facts are that led to his decisions. As an attorney I understand rules exist to protect employees records, but we as tax payers have a right to know what is going on in our sheriff’s department.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  6. slowtime says:

    Just a random beating by the Police? I dont think so. The “beatee” did something here. He can not be as innocent as he is trying to make himself out to be.Not saying it is right, but it stinks of contempt of cop. Too bad.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 13

    • Jack L says:

      There are thousands of cases like this filed against LEOs and until all evidence is researched there is no telling what took place. To speculate at this point would be like farting at the moon.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 2

    • MaryMalone says:

      The SLOCo Sheriffs Department seems to have issues with ensuring their deputies can control themselves in situations with the public which may turn out to be stressful.

      While less ethical LEOs like to say that the public is very quick to find excuses to sue LEOs over, this isn’t true. The majority of the public cannot finance hiring an attorney and filing and conducting a lawsuit. If an attorney does it for a percentage of the settlement, in most cases, you can bet the attorney believes there will be a settlement large enough to well compensate him for his time. Sometimes an attorney will do the case and not charge for their time, but even so, the costs of a lawsuit (filing, court recording, transcripts, secretarial support (copying, etc.), can run in the tens of thousands of dollars.

      So if the alleged victim’s attorney is already saying he has no problems taking this case to court, I think the claims by the victim are more likely to be valid. The fact that the deputy is no longer with the department. If he was terminated, there is a chance he may file a wrongful termination claims—and the taxpayers will have to pay for that, too.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 16

  7. MaryMalone says:

    I think Cipollo must be wishing he’d been hired as PIO for the SMPD at this point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 16

  8. MaryMalone says:

    I think we owe CCN a big thanks for pushing on the Poz-Steeb scandal, about which, until CCN contacted the Sheriffs Department about it, there had been no information from the SD.

    In addition, the way the SD’s PIO (Tony Cipollo) handled it–not issuing saying anything about it until Karen contacted him, promising to reply in an email, and then issuing a press release, over 2 weeks following the incident–really indicates a skeezy public-relations approach and, indeed, a coverup.

    Hopefully, Cipollo has been put on notice that not all the local journalists are afraid to ask questions so that the public can be better informed. Time will tell.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 17

    • racket says:

      Why do we pay Cipolla? Nothing against Tony (I liked him on KSBY), but the function of the P.I.O. position is to CYA for the department. How do we the taxpayers benefit from being obfusticated? Seems like a b.s. position that sanitizes the “public’s business” before it reaches the public. If I were Tony, I would begin to question my integrity as a journalist, or former lournalist.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 9

      • MaryMalone says:

        I agree. I think Parkinson should pay him out of his own pocket. Taxpayers are not, in any way, being served by Tony Cipollo’s BS.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 17

      • Downtown Bob says:

        Do you also have a problem with “journalists” like George Stephanopholis or Chris Mathews and others who are political hacks pretending to be journalists and unbiased. While attacking Fox mind you.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

        • MaryMalone says:

          Doh. Chris Mathews “and others” are not paid by taxpayers to be public information officers, and then turn around and do everything they can to NOT inform the taxpayers.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

          • racket says:

            Yup.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

            • racket says:

              Unclear response on my part.

              My “yup” is in strong agreement with MMalone.

              I’m not sure how to respond to DTBob because he’s comparing apples to Twinkies.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. HBadger says:

    It’s interesting how an incident can be distorted when only one side of the “Story” gets printed. Now a young man with a promising career is going to get raked over the coals for acting in accordance to departmental policy and laws regarding the use of force. There is so much more to this story that can’t be revealed due to the complaint being filed and an internal investigation ongoing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 18

    • Cindy says:

      If it’s true that this man (Ruiz) was tased and beaten during an event that didn’t rise to even pressing charges, then Hurl was probably out of line. Give us a break, what did his video and tape recorder show, or maybe he forgot to turn it on?

      If there is so much more to this story, then why not tell us the other side? Log in at a coffee shop and have at it. I’m certain Hurl probably told his side to half the SD and many others, so what’s the big deal ?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

      • HBadger says:

        Nothing can be said about this case by any of the parties involved pending the outcome of the complaint investigation. To air suppositions and acqusations on a forum violates everyone’s rights, including Ruiz’s.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

        • kettle says:

          HBadger says:”To air suppositions and acqusations on a forum violates everyone’s rights, including Ruiz’s.”

          No, it does not.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 13

        • MaryMalone says:

          THEN DON’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT. If you can’t provide evidence, don’t claim something publicly stated is wrong, okay? It’s the weiner’s way of saying an officer did nothing wrong or did everything correctly.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

        • Cindy says:

          Funny how when someone is accused by the LE, the story gets aired before the person even goes to trial but when the tables are turned, “mum is the word”. Who do you think you’re kidding?

          RUIZ wasn’t charged !!! That is the key and no DA ever wants to let a victim who was beaten by the LE walk without charges unless there is absolutely nothing he (DA) can find to charge him with. If there was a recording, you can bet it would have been used for all it was worth if it could have justified any charges at all. Let me guess, ahhhhhhhh either Hurl forgot to turn it on or maybe Parkinson accidentally erased it!!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

        • MaryMalone says:

          But it is all right for the parties who are the subject of the scandal (and their toadies), posting as names other than their own, to post on message board forums and spin the story to coverup their own wrong-doing?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      I hope you are right that there is more to this story. I am seeing more news stories with law enforcement lately (and not in a good light) and would really like to see them not be true. It kills moral and sheds a bad light on a lot of the other officers that are doing their job right. But that said I also hope they look into all of these stories too, to make sure we don’t have any officer’s out there acting outside of protocal.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    • kettle says:

      HBadger says:”Now a young man with a promising career is going to get raked over the coals for acting in accordance to departmental policy and laws regarding the use of force.”

      “To air suppositions and acqusations on a forum violates everyone’s rights” Like you did above?

      “Hurl is no longer with the sheriff’s department.”

      Promising career indeed, let’s have a look at the dash cam……

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

    • MaryMalone says:

      The SD seems mighty hesitant to fire its problem officers. So for Hurl to be fired, it makes me think the SD sees him as having something so egregious that they had to take action.

      How do you know he is acting “in accordance with departmental policy”? Please quote the policy you claim he is following.

      I’m growing a little weary of supposed “insiders” showing up here and making claims that, when challenged, they fall back on the “I-can’t-because-it-is-policy-which-can’t-be-revealed-to-the-public” bullshXt.

      Hey, HBadger, the moon is made of green cheese. Oh, so sorry, I can’t provide evidence because it’s policy and I can’t reveal it to the public.

      Sheesh.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

      • photocal says:

        Mary….I have proof of green moon cheese. Was eating outdoors at a downtown restaurant accros from the park in Paso. My prime rib sandwich had something green on the meat……….. Asked the waitress about it, and She said it was moon cheese.. I sent to back, and left the restaurant.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

        • MaryMalone says:

          You should have sent the sandwich to Public Health. Yuck.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

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