SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave over an alleged use-of-force incident caught on video, which shows a man getting kicked in the head while being arrested.
It happened around 1 a.m. Friday in the area of Highland Avenue and Cedar Street, according to Cindy Bachman of the sheriff’s department.
A one-minute segment of the incident circulated on social media, Bachman said, and officials are seeking witnesses. It was unclear who recorded the footage.
The video shows a man on the ground in a scuffle with two deputies before one of the deputies apparently punches the man once and kicks him in the head three times.
The sheriff’s department said the man was initially contacted in a self-initiated pedestrian check. Additional details were not disclosed.
In a statement released Wednesday, Sheriff John McMahon expressed concern over the deputy’s use of force.
“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 statement read, in part.
The man seen being placed in handcuffs was identified as Garardo Bernabe Vasquez, a 21-year-old resident of San Bernardino. He was arrested for resisting an officer and was booked, cited and released.
The name of the deputy involved has not been released due to the pending administrative investigation, Bachman said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s department at (909) 387-3545.