San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputy recorded punching, kicking suspect in head

(San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department)

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department released a video Wednesday that appears to show a deputy punching and kicking a suspect in the head while he is on the ground.

The incident took place at around 1 am on Jan. 26 in the area of Highland Avenue and Cedar Street in San Bernardino, reports CBS LA:

The one-minute video shows a deputy struggling to hold down a suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Garardo Bernabe Vasquez, in the middle of the road. Within about 10 seconds, a sheriff’s cruiser pulls up and a second deputy jumps out to assist.

As the second deputy is helping to subdue the suspect, the first deputy appears to punch the suspect in the head. The two then work together to handcuff the man.

As they attempt to lift him up, the same deputy then kicks the suspect in the head twice, and then appears to stomp on his head once.

The deputy, who was not named, has been placed on administrative leave, according to the Daily Press.  Vasquez was arrested on charges of resisting / obstructing an officer. He has since been released from custody. He has since been cited and released from custody.

“I am concerned with the level of force used in the video by one of my deputies,” said Sheriff John McMahon. “I expect our employees always to remain professional when contacting the public, who we serve. I can assure you that we take these matters very seriously and we will conduct a thorough and complete investigation. The deputy in question has been placed on paid administrative leave.”