The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department provided new details Thursday about what prompted deputies to strike a man face-down on the ground last weekend, an incident that was partly captured in a 15-second video.
First aired by KABC-TV, the video shows a deputy tackling a man to the ground in East Los Angeles while another strikes him with a flashlight.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, two deputies responded to the 4200 block of Cesar Chavez Avenue about 2 a.m. Sunday after reports that a woman was hiding in the bathroom of a fast-food restaurant. The woman’s ex-boyfriend allegedly harassed her and was believed to be possibly carrying a knife, sheriff’s officials said.
As the two deputies patted down the ex-boyfriend, he “pulled away from the deputy’s control hold” and struck one deputy in the face with a skateboard, sheriff’s officials said. He allegedly hit a second deputy in the head.
After a third deputy arrived, the man was taken to the ground. Sheriff’s officials said the deputies deployed pepper spray, but it was ineffective. The struggle continued, sheriff’s officials said, and a deputy used his flashlight to strike the man several times.
The man, identified as Marvin Herrera, has been charged with three felonies including assault on a peace officer, battery on a peace officer and resisting a police officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Herrera, 27, pleaded not guilty to all charges during a court appearance on Tuesday. He’s being held in lieu of $130,000 bail.
Sheriff’s officials said Herrera was treated at the hospital for minor abrasions. Two deputies had injuries to their face and have since returned to work.
“It’s important to look at the totality of the situation beyond the 15-second video clip,” sheriff’s department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said in a statement.
The department has launched a use-of-force investigation, which is customary in all cases where force is deployed, she said. The investigation is ongoing.
“The video will be part of the evidence that is included in the investigation,” she said. “The Sheriff’s Department takes all force by personnel very seriously and will take appropriate action.”