Tuesday News Roundup
News Roundup for San Francisco and the Bay Area for Tuesday, May 10, 2016
TWO DEPUTIES FACE FELONY CHARGES IN ALLEGED BEATING OF SUSPECT
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon today announced felony charges against two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies caught on camera
beating a suspect after a high-speed chase from unincorporated San Leandro to the Mission District in November.
Deputy Luis Santamaria, a 14-year veteran of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and Deputy Paul Wieber, a three-year veteran, are charged with assault under color of authority, battery with serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, Gascon said.
The two deputies are expected to surrender by the end of the day Wednesday, with bail set at $140,000 each.
Prosecutors allege Santamaria and Wieber struck 29-year-old Stanislav Petrov at least 30 times over the course of 40 seconds in the head
and hands with their batons in the early morning hours of Nov. 12. Petrov suffered injuries including a concussion, broken bones in both hands, a mild traumatic brain injury and deep cuts to his head.
“Policing that violates our constitutional rights damages the reputation of every person that wears the uniform, and it damages the
public’s perception of those that are sworn to serve,” Gascon said. “When officers take the law into their own hands, they undermine the moral
authority of the entire criminal justice system.”
Petrov had allegedly used a stolen car to ram two marked sheriff’s office vehicles, causing minor injuries to one deputy, before fleeing in a stolen car.
The pursuit ended at Stevenson and 14th streets in San Francisco when Petrov ran out of gas and crashed the car. The alleged beating occurred a short distance away on Clinton Park.
Gascon said his office is still investigating allegations of false police statements, bribery, theft and witness tampering made against other deputies involved in the incident.
Petrov also faces gun and drug charges in a federal case that followed a March 8 search of his apartment by the FBI. Gascon said that the
cases are unrelated.
The assault against Petrov came to light after the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office obtained surveillance camera video footage. Gascon said investigators also made use of a second video taken from a body-worn camera that one of the deputies appears to have activated accidentally.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi said today he was “relieved” charges were filed, and said “the real hero in this incident” was the person who came forward with the video.
“Without the video I doubt very much that we would be standing here,” Adachi said.