Names of deputies involved in beating of California horseman released

Reuters News
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Posted: May 11, 2015 4:03 PM

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials on Monday released the names of 10 deputies involved in the videotaped beating of a man following his failed getaway on horseback.

The footage of Francis Pusok's beating and arrest surfaced on April 9, just two days after a video emerged of a South Carolina policeman fatally shooting a man as he ran away after being stopped for a broken tail light.

All 10 officers were placed on administrative leave during investigations conducted by the sheriff's department and FBI.

The sheriff's department identified the deputies as Nicholas Downey, Scott Hamilton, David Moore, Dominic Moody, Michael Phelps, Raymond Perez, Tyler McGee and Charles Foster, along with Sergeant James Evans and Detective William Doemner.

The department released no further information and did not say why it was identifying the deputies involved.

Late last month, San Bernardino County and Pusok agreed to a settlement in which it will pay Pusok $650,000 to settle all potential legal claims from the incident, although acknowledging no wrongdoing.

Pusok, 30, initially drove off in a car when officers arrived at a residence to serve a search warrant as part of an identity-theft investigation, sheriff's officials told reporters.

He ditched the car, ran a short distance on foot and stole a horse before deputies in off-road vehicles and helicopters closed in on him in rugged, hilly terrain near the town of Apple Valley.

The video shows Pusok riding the horse, falling off, scrambling to his feet, then throwing himself to the ground with his arms outstretched as two deputies run up with Tasers drawn.

The two deputies are seen pouncing on Pusok, taking turns punching and stomping on him while several more officers join in, delivering blows and kicks in a beating that goes on for at least two minutes.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney)