WARNING: VIDEO MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) – Sheriff’s Deputies were caught on camera beating a suspected car thief in San Francisco.
“This is not only excessive force but it’s brutality,” said public defender Jeff Adachi.
The disturbing video was taken early Thursday morning and shows an unidentified man running from two Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputies.
In the video, one of them yells “stop.” Then a deputy tackles the man as he slows down and begins to turn his head.
He begins hitting the suspect with his fist as a second deputy arrives. He pulls out his baton, repeatedly striking him in the head with great force. Then, both of them begin swinging their batons, hitting the man as he lies on the ground.
The beating finally stops when police and other deputy sheriffs arrive on the scene.
“I heard just loud smack, smack, smacks,” said witness Redop Rundgren, “I really thought they were gunshots cause they were super loud.”
Rundgren’s apartment is above where the incident occurred and the screams woke him.
“They kept screaming get on the ground, pushing him and beating him continuously,” continued Rundgren. “He tried to get up and crawl away while they were beating him that’s when I heard his screaming like ‘stop, help me’ or something of that sort.”
“He’s on the ground. They could easily handcuff him. But they just keep hitting him,” said Adachi.
Chief Attorney Matt Gonzales says it was nothing short of an assault.
“I look forward to police explaining this conduct because as far as I’m concerned, it’s criminal conduct,” said Gonzales.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect stole a car, rearranged a Sheriff’s vehicle, and ended up in a chase from San Leandro to San Francisco, where he smashed his car on Stevenson Street and ran.