Trial winding up for 3 deputies charged in Apple Valley beating caught on video

Closing arguments within the trial of three San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies accused of assaulting an Apple Valley man following a 3-hour pursuit within the Excessive Desert are set to start Monday in San Bernardino Superior Courtroom.

Deputies Nicholas Downey, Michael Phelps and Charles Foster are every charged with one felony rely of assault by a public officer beneath the colour of authority for the April 9, 2015 beating of Francis Jared Pusok, 32.

The beating was captured on video by a tv information crew monitoring the pursuit from a helicopter hovering eight,000 ft above.

Opening statements started March 2 and testimony concluded March 21. Three witnesses testified in the course of the three-week trial: sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Hanke, retired Undersheriff Robert Fonzi, and CHP Officer Ellen Spurlock. Fonzi can also be a use-of-pressure professional who testified on behalf of the protection, stated Michael Schwartz, Downey’s lawyer, in an e-mail Friday.

Throughout opening statements, prosecutor Robert Bulloch stated the deputies have been trying to get in some “low cost photographs” after Pusok led them on a 3-hour chase on metropolis streets and thru rugged desert terrain in a automotive, on foot and on horseback by way of Apple Valley and into Hesperia.

As a guise, the deputies repeatedly yelled “cease resisting” as they punched and kicked Pusok in order that their audio belt recorders would point out a wrestle was ensuing between the arresting deputies and Pusok, Bulloch stated.

Protection attorneys, nevertheless, keep that the deputies have been doing what they have been educated to do, and that Pusok, a repeat felony offender with a historical past of offenses, was already recognized to deputies and being sought on suspicion of evading police and possession of stolen property. They maintained that in the course of the pursuit, Pusok hit speeds of near one hundred mph as he fled deputies in a automotive on metropolis streets, endangering the general public.

Ten deputies who have been concerned within the detaining and arrest of Pusok, together with the three on trial, have been positioned on administrative depart following the incident. The District Lawyer’s Workplace declined to filed fees towards the seven different deputies as a result of lack of enough proof.

Throughout a Sept. 1, 2015 information convention, District Lawyer Mike Ramos stated the hilly terrain the place Pusok was detained obscured the visibility of the coming deputies, and the radio communications they acquired led them to consider their actions have been justified.


Lower than two weeks after the incident, Pusok agreed to a $650,000 out-of-courtroom settlement with San Bernardino County. On the time, county spokesman David Wert stated the settlement was not an request for forgiveness however was to keep away from the price of civil litigation.

Closing arguments are scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. Monday earlier than Decide Dwight W. Moore.

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