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L.A. County deputy caught on video stomping suspect's head

July 17, 2012 | 11:35 am

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials have launched a criminal investigation into the arrest of a sexual battery suspect, who is seen having his head stomped by a deputy in video footage of the incident.

It occurred Friday morning when deputies approached a man in downtown Los Angeles suspected of groping a woman’s chest. Authorities said the suspect, Alexis Husmario Torres, was uncooperative, initially refusing to take his hands out of his pockets and then fighting with deputies as they tried to restrain him.

A news crew from Telemundo caught much of the take-down on video. In parts of the footage, aired by NBC Los Angeles, the suspect is elbowed several times in the head while on the ground and stomped at least once in the head by a black-booted deputy.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said department officials were aware the arrest was caught on tape when they decided to launch the criminal probe but had not yet seen the footage. He said Telemundo has agreed to turn over its raw footage.

One deputy, a 24-year veteran, has been relieved of duty with pay while the incident is investigated, Whitmore said, declining to name him.

Two deputies and the suspect were treated for minor injuries after the incident. Whitmore said the suspect is being held in Twin Towers jail, in an area reserved for mental health observation.

It is not typical for deputy uses of force to be criminally investigated.

“We take this very seriously, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” Whitmore said.


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