Sheriff deputy assault was family affair

January 17, 2013

bruise 2By KAREN VELIE

Driving from a celebration at a local church, donning a dress shirt and tie, a 5 foot 3 inch Nipomo man was not worried when a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputy pulled behind the car he had just parked in a friend’s driveway for what appeared to be a routine traffic stop last July.

However, deputy Steven Hurl, without “explanation or justification,” pointed a gun at Jesus Ruiz, called for backup, began yelling commands, shot Ruiz in the back and then the side with a Taser gun, elbowed him in the head and clubbed him repeatedly, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday. Before it was over, Ruiz’s battered body would be covered in bruises.

Three to four more deputies arrived before Ruiz’s girlfriend Ashley Rodriquez, his mother Alma Gutierrez and his brother Edward Gutierrez heard the commotion and stepped out of the home at 257 Vintage Street.

One of the deputies approached Rodriquez, a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy who had a tumor removed from her hip a few months earlier, and kneed her in the back causing her to fall to the ground and knocking her wig from her head. She was then cuffed and held on the ground.

The officer then charged Alma Gutierrez and kneed her in the crotch “causing her extensive vaginal bleeding,” the lawsuit says.

Another deputy slammed Edward Gutierrez into a patrol car before cuffing him and placing him on the ground. He was the only family member who did not require medical attention for his injuries, which were limited to contusions on his arms.

For about two hours, Ruiz, Rodriquez and Alma and Edward Gutierrez were kept handcuffed in the yard while the deputies performed background checks.

bruise 1The deputies then transported, booked and detained Ruiz in the San Luis Obispo County Jail for resisting arrest, though no charges were ever filed against any of the alleged victims or the three deputies.

After he was released, Ruiz went to Arroyo Grande Hospital where he was treated for contusions, hematomas and puncture wounds. He has received further treatment for damage to his elbow and stress related issues, according to medical records.

He has been unable to completely return to work, the lawsuit says.

Rodriquez went to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria where she was treated for pain at the site of her previous operation and her right chest where she had a Port-a-Cath, according to medical records.

The lawsuit accuses the deputies of “excessive and unlawful force, false imprisonment, misconduct, unlawful arrest, assault and battery, violation of civil rights and negligence.”

Shortly after the incident, Hurl’s employment was terminated by the sheriff’s department. It has not been disclosed whether the other officers involved were disciplined for their actions.

San Luis Obispo based attorney James McKiernan is seeking unspecified general and special damages for his clients.


The Gimlet Eye

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Deputy Hurl comes from a line of law enforcement…

His brother was arrested for selling drugs inside the Men’s Colony as a jail guard.

Real fine pedigrees.


If officer Hurl is so innocent as many on this board proclaim, then why was his employment terminated? He was a punk that got out of line. Civil rights violations from our sheriff’s department is routine. Just ask some of the “doobie dozen” about those arrests. Let’s see, a machine gun pointed to the head of a fifth grader. A sex abuse test given to a sixth grader from an NTF agent on her bathroom floor for starters. This is why some of us call them pigs. Many of them think they can just bull over the rest of us. I honestly believe Parkinson should have to answer for his employee. Hedges was a bum and even violated the civil rights of his own officers. Parkinson appears in this case to have incorrectly hired a rouge employee. However, in all fairness, we should not pass judgement until we hear or see more. I however, seriously doubt that the officer was justified. If it was my wife he kneed in the groin…….I better keep it off the record.


No dash cams? Even with just the sound? I find it hard to believe that the police would react like this if the people were totally innocent like the article makes them sound. No one was screaming at the police or getting in their faces? I’ve seen enough videos online to know that blame goes all the way around, usually.


Yes…what was it “Beat up a Mexican family day”? Come on….there is much more to this story. Talk about bad reporting.


shelworth says:”No dash cams? Even with just the sound?”

Zuma7 says: “Come on….there is much more to this story. Talk about bad reporting.”

If you understood the process you would not be so confused. They don’t release the dash cams, you have to file a lawsuit and get discovery, then request and wait.

Then we will get to see what got Hurl fired so fast.

Also anonymous amateur media critics, how original.

Truth Hurts

Just curious….how many people on here have been pulled over? Most people have I bet. How many people here got beat up by the cops for no reason at all….My guess not one person…cops have to react to what people do..if this guy would have followed what the deputy said he would have been ok…Deputy Hurl was more than likely on probation while this happened…officers and deputies on probation can be terminated for any reason without notice. If the guy was coming from the Catholic Church in Nipomo he was probably drunk…every event there seems to be a drunk fest most of the time there have been so many events there that get out of control and where people have been seriously hurt


“If the guy was coming from the Catholic Church in Nipomo he was probably drunk … ” Wow, talk about an assumption or stereotype; could that sentence be any more offensive? IF Mr. Ruiz was intoxicated during the arrest and “mouthed off” to the deputy, or even if he presented a hostile attitude, the damage inflicted was not justified by any means. It will be very interesting to find out more information, if it becomes available to the public.


TruthHurts, believe it or not, many people DO get beat up for no reason! It could be due a few reasons, but I know of one case over 20 years. Someone was horribly abused for a couple reasons…

1, Mistaken identity – Turned out there were two people with the same name in the same county. Ages were years apart, and of course so was their SSN, so as far as mistaken ID’s, don’t know how that ocurred.

2. The SLOSD was protecting one of their “rats”.

3, The individual was “thought” to be hispanic, because they “looked it”.

4. One deputy had a personal dislike for the person, and “promised” to make them do time!

That individual was beat up multiple times, the family and their pets were tortured, the pets were killed.


Not only should all lose their jobs, they should be prosecuted for aggravated battery , and Hurl for attempted murder.

if there is cause to fire, then there is cause for a criminal trial.


Everyone needs to relax. All Sheriff cars are equipped with up-to-date audio & video units. Either the deputies will be exonerated or the County will need to get out the check book and write a big payment to the family. Someone should ask Sheriff Parkinson to release the video?



If not for CCN

You would probably never hear about these things.


Unfortunately this will probably be settled out of court and we’ll never know the details.

Do applicants for law enforcement have to under go a psychological assessment by a qualified psychologist?

The Gimlet Eye

I don’t know the answer to that, but I sure wonder about it. And yes, I think that all LE applicants should have to undergo a serious and very extensive battery of psychological tests before they are even admitted to police academy.

After all, when they graduated, they are granted the POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH.


Law enforcement agencies generally require applicants to undergo a mental “fitness for duty” examination before they become active duty officers. When circumstances warrant, active duty officers can also be ordered to submit to mental examinations.


There may be testing to get hired, but after that, thanks to the police union there is no re-testing, random drug testing, physical testing or such. So if you can pass the first time, your in and no further testing will be done, even if there was a reason too.


Don’t you have to be a little crazy to want to be a cop in the first place? Have you ever met a cop that you thought wasn’t just a little “off”? I haven’t.