A Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy is under a criminal investigation after video of him hitting a suspect during an arrest was posted online.
In the video, which was recorded on Nov. 10 in Modesto, law enforcement officers can be seen trying to get the suspect, who is on the ground, to put his hands behind his back. Throughout the more than one-minute clip, the deputy can be seen repeatedly punching the suspect.
Law enforcement initially responded to the area because of reports of a man running into traffic, according to the sheriff’s department.
The video was posted on YouTube two days after the incident by Porter Villar. He said on the post that he was sitting in his car looking for directions home when he heard shouting and sirens.
“All of a sudden a man in a blue jump suit appears on my left looking very agitated, for about 10-15 seconds it was just me and him,” Villar wrote.
He said he didn’t know what the man wanted or what he was going to do, so he ducked his head, “hoping he (wouldn’t) see me and attempt to open my car door.”
“Out of nowhere about 6-7 police officers swarm him and tackle him to the ground which is when I grabbed my phone and started recording,” Villar said.
The deputy under investigation is on leave, according to the sheriff’s department. The department is looking into what led up to the arrest and whether the deputy violated any policies.