Authorities are investigating a video showing a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy threatening to create charges and throw a man in jail.
Duncan Hicks told The Times he went inside the sheriff’s Victorville station about 11 a.m. Jan. 20 to file an incident report regarding a child custody issue at the front desk. When he tried to get a report, he said, the deputy told him, “You know, Duncan, you got baby mama drama.”
Hicks said the deputy refused to allow him to file a report and told him to leave the station.
The 34-year-old Victorville resident said he left, but decided to return and record his interaction with the deputy.
When he tried again to get an incident report, he asked the front desk clerk for the deputy’s badge number.
That’s when the deputy said, “OK, Duncan. You know what, man, I am about getting tired of you, and you are about to go to jail, just so you know.”
Hicks asks, “What am I going to jail for?”
The deputy responds, “I’ll create something, you understand? You’ll go to jail. You understand that?”
When Hicks tells the deputy that his actions would violate the law, the deputy says “recording me like that — that’s illegal without my knowledge. You want to go to jail for that too?”
Hicks said he was recording the deputy for his own protection.
“At that moment, I was in duress,” Hicks told The Times. “For him to say that, I didn’t known what was going to happen.”
San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon said he reviewed the video, and the employees’ responses were “not consistent” with his expectation of customer service.
“Additionally, the deputy’s responses are not consistent with the interpretation of the law,” he said in a statement.
The Sheriff’s Department is conducting an administrative investigation and will contact Hicks , McMahon said. Authorities also will be looking at Hicks’ prior contact with deputies “to ensure all previous contacts were professionally handled.”
“Once we determine the outcome of our investigation, appropriate action will be taken,” the sheriff said.
The department does not have a policy prohibiting recording of employees in a station lobby.
Hicks said he hasn’t spoken to anyone from the Sheriff’s Department about the investigation. He said he doesn’t “feel confident going back” to the station and wants the deputy to be fired.
“Nobody should be treated differently,” he said. “Their job is protect and serve.”