Video: Bizarre arrest of man on horseback leads to disturbing questions

San Bernardino County deputies are being investigated after a bizarre chase ended with police pursuing a man on horseback, then using Tasers before repeatedly punching and kicking him.

KNBC’s NewsChopper4 captured the chase on video Thursday afternoon, showing the man riding a horse with police pursuing on foot.

The Apple Valley man identified as Francis Jared Pusok, 30, fell from the horse, while a deputy apparently used a Taser to subdue him then, joined by other deputies, punched and kicked him multiple times, according to News4 Los Angeles.

Pusok was punched 37 times, kicked 17 times, and struck four times with batons, the station reported.

After the beating, the man did not appear to move, lying prone on the ground for more than 45 minutes while deputies stood around him.  He was later hospitalized with unknown injuries, according to authorities.

Police say Pusok fled when deputies attempted to serve a search warrant in an identity theft investigation.  Pusok led police in a vehicle pursuit through Apple Valley and surrounding communities, an unincorporated area more than 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Pusok abandoned the vehicle 40 miles away and then ran from police on foot.  As Deputies searched for Pusok, they said they learned that he had stolen a horse, and a San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department helicopter deployed deputies to make the arrest.

Pusok’s girlfriend, Jolene Bindner, told the station she hasn’t gotten any answers.  “They have not told me a thing,” she said. “How can you be tased and still feel it’s necessary to beat him like that? I don’t understand.”

In a statement, the ACLU said they “are deeply troubled by the video.”

After seeing the video, San Bernadino County Sheriff John McMahon ordered an internal investigation.

McMahon said, ”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.”


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