VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California sheriff’s deputy is under criminal investigation after he was recorded on video kicking a pursuit suspect in the head while the man appeared to be surrendering.
The San Bernardino County deputy, who was not named, has been placed on paid administrative leave, the Sun newspaper reported.
“This incident raises concerns. I expect my deputies to remain professional while engaging the public,” Sheriff John McMahon said in a statement.
The suspect was riding a motorcycle early Wednesday when he failed to pull over for a traffic stop and led the deputy on a high-speed chase on Interstate 15 and surface streets near Victorville, the newspaper said. He eventually ditched the motorcycle and hid at a car dealership.
Video obtained by the website TMZ shows a man emerging from underneath a car, putting his hands up and then getting on his knees. The man begins to lay flat on the ground when the deputy takes two quick steps and kicks the man in the head. The man rolls over slightly and the deputy kicks the man in the head a second time.
A second deputy runs into view and assists in handcuffing the man.
“Due to this being an active investigation, no further details are being released about the incident,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said Saturday.
The department’s report on the criminal investigation will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges, the newspaper said. A internal investigation will take place to determine whether the deputy violated any department policies.
The motorcyclist, identified by sheriff’s officials as 33-year-old Willie Jones, was treated at the scene for injuries before being arrested on suspicion of felony evading.