California county settles after deputies beat man on video
April 24, 2015
San Bernardino County has agreed to pay $650,000 to a man whom sheriff’s deputies delivered a bruising after he led them on a wild chase by car, foot and horseback. [LA Times]
As the chase ended, a news helicopter filmed deputies kicking and punching Francis Pusok, 30. Pusok had already surrendered and was lying with hands behind his back.
The county board of supervisors approved the settlement on Tuesday. Pusok’s attorneys then released a statement saying the county initiated settlement negotiations based on the video.
Ten deputies are on paid leave as a result of the incident. The FBI is also conducting a civil rights investigation.
The hours-long chase began after deputies served a warrant at a home in unincorporated Apple Valley. Pusok was in the home at the time, though he did not live there.
Pusok first fled in a car and then by foot before allegedly stealing a horse. The video shows the horse throwing him as deputies arrived.
Sheriff John McMahon said he believes Pusok fled because he was on probation at the time. Pusok said he fled because prior encounters with police and deputies caused him to develop fear of law enforcement.