In this frame from video provided by KNBC-TV, deputies appear to beat and kick Francis Pusok. (KNBC-TV / Associated Press)
By Veronica Rocha
May 29, 2015
A 30-year-old man, who received a $650,000 payout after he was beaten by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies after a pursuit, was charged Thursday with multiple counts related to events before the assault.
Francis Pusok had led police on a three-hour pursuit April 9 in Lucerne Valley on a motorcycle and a horse. After he was thrown off the horse, a KNBC helicopter filmed as deputies kicked and punched Pusok even as he appeared to have surrendered.
He was arrested and eventually released on $100,000 bail.
But on Thursday, prosecutors filed a 14-count criminal complaint against Pusok in connection with the pursuit.
The Apple Valley resident faces charges in connection with the theft of three different vehicles, receipt of stolen property, reckless driving, evading a police officer and resisting arrest, according to the San Bernardino County Superior Court complaint. He is also charged with possessing ammunition, stealing a horse, cruelty to the horse and being under the influence of amphetamine and marijuana.
His arraignment is set for June 16 in Victorville. If Pusok is convicted of the charges, he faces up to 19 years and four months in prison, the San Bernardino County’s district attorney’s office said.
Pusok’s attorneys, James S. Terrell and Sharon J. Brunner, condemned the decision to prosecute their client, calling the charges “retaliatory, unjust, unfair and inequitable.”
“We are disappointed, but yet sadly not surprised,” said the attorneys, noting that none of the 10 deputies involved in the “vicious” beating currently faces criminal allegations.
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