CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (FOX 11) - The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is conducting a use of force investigation after cell phone video showed sheriff's deputies from the Industry station punch a suspect while trying to arrest him Monday in the City of Industry.
Authorities said at about 4 p.m. a Metro bus driver flagged down sheriff's deputies and complained about a man on the bus who was intoxicated, carrying an open bottle and a skateboard.
Officers responded to the area, near Stafford Street and Hacienda Boulevard, and pulled the suspect off the bus, authorities said.
A passenger on the bus recorded video of the arrest which shows the deputy punch the suspect in the face multiple times. Video shows the struggle continue, with other officers responding and pulling out a taser.
As many as six deputies appeared to be involved in the video.
The witness who recorded the video did not want to be identified, but told FOX 11 the suspect "was not resisting."
The sheriff's department says it is conducting a use of force investigation involving several deputies and a reportedly belligerent, intoxicated male threatening passengers on a public bus.
Both the suspect and a deputy involved in the use of force were taken to the hospital for treatment of unknown injuries.
The suspect was booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
In a statement, the department says: "The initial investigation includes the following: The incident began when a deputy on routine patrol was flagged down by a bus driver at approximately 4:00 PM. The driver told the deputy he had a drunk belligerent male on his bus harassing females. The deputy boarded the bus and saw the suspect holding a skateboard in his left hand and a beer bottle in his right hand. When the deputy escorted the suspect off the bus, the suspect, without warning, turned in an attempt to break free of the deputy’s hold. At that point, the deputies tried to control the suspect’s wrist to prevent him from using the now broken beer bottle or skateboard as a weapon. The suspect refused several orders to comply and relinquish the broken bottle and place his hands behind his back. Force was used to secure the broken bottle and place the suspect under arrest.
The Sheriff’s Department has protocols in place for incidents such as this. This entire incident, will be investigated using witness statements, suspect statements, deputy statements and any available video. In order to identify potential witnesses in this incident, a sergeant that was conducting the use of force investigation, boarded the bus to identify any potential witnesses. He asked for any witnesses to identify themselves and provide a method of contact, preferably a cell phone number. This is done as a routine to conduct a thorough force investigation.
The preliminary investigation will be presented to the Critical Incident Review Panel in the next 7 to 14 days. The completed investigation will ultimately be presented to the Executive Force Review Committee for final disposition. These panels consist of three specially trained Department Commanders. They receive input from the Office of Inspector General and the Constitutional Policing Advisor before rendering a decision on whether the force used was appropriate and what if any training and/or discipline is required."
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