Two sheriff's deputies caught on tape beating a man in the Mission. (Courtesy/ San Francisco Public Defender's Office)

Apparent beating by Alameda sheriff’s deputies to be investigated by SFPD, DA

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and Police Department have launched independent investigations into the alleged beating of a suspect by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies caught on video in The City last week, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said it opened an investigation when surveillance footage was forwarded to them Friday of a pair of deputies appearing to strike a man dozens of times with their fists, feet and batons in a Mission district alley.

A minute after the alleged 2:06 a.m. Thursday beating was over, a call to dispatch from an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy reported the incident as a single assault, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

Sgt. JD Nelson, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said the use of force was reported to supervisors immediately following the arrest. The sheriff’s office will continue its investigation, Nelson said.

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office released the surveillance footage of the alleged beating — likened to the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police in 1991 — to the public on Friday after witnesses contacted them.

SFPD initially declined to comment on the incident, deferring to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

Charges

On Sunday, the Alameda County Public Defender called for prosecutors to look into filing criminal charges against the two sheriff’s deputies involved.

Public Defender Brendon Woods called the alleged beating of Stanislav Petrov, 26, “disgusting,” saying in a statement “those deputies viciously attacked a man who appeared to be surrendering.”

“They beat him with their batons even though he was not resisting,” he said. “This is clearly excessive force.”

The video appears to show a man, identified as Petrov, fleeing down an alley in the Mission — where Clinton Park and Stevenson Street intersect — early Thursday when a deputy tackles him to the ground. The deputies then pull out batons and strike the man dozens of times. Petrov was punched, kicked and struck for about a minute, according to the video’s time stamp.

Nelson said both deputies involved have been placed on paid-administrative leave in accordance with state law. SFPD officers were also on scene, but arrived as the incident ended.

“Everybody that has seen the video is concerned,” Nelson said, referring to the sheriff’s office. “But we are also confident that a complete and thorough investigation will be done.”

The deputies’ identities have not been disclosed. Petrov has been at San Francisco General Hospital receiving treatment since early Thursday.

Petrov was allegedly beaten after deputies pursued him from San Leandro, authorities said. He allegedly rammed two patrol cars and knocked over a deputy.

Formal charges have not been filed against Petrov in connection with the vehicle pursuit, authorities said.

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