VICTORVILLE (CBSLA) — The 21-year-old man who was caught on video being punched and kicked by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy during his arrest spoke out Friday.
The family of Gerardo Barnabe Vasquez said he was missing Thursday. They confirmed to CBS2 late Thursday night that he was found at Lake Arrowhead Medical Center in Colton.
Vasquez’s cousin Isis Trujillo told CBS2 the family was unsure on his condition because they were unable to see him.
Vazquez was a surprise visitor at a news conference. He was flanked by his two attorneys. He tried to give his side of what happened that evening.
A video released this week by SBSD showed the violent arrest of Vasquez that took place about 1 a.m. Jan. 26 in the area of Highland Avenue and Cedar Street.
An SBSD spokesperson told CBS2 the incident began when the deputy came upon Vasquez, a pedestrian, and conducted “a self-initiated pedestrian check.” What prompted the deputy to detain Vasquez was not disclosed.
The one-minute video showed the deputy struggling to hold him down in the middle of the road. It also shows deputies punching him in and around the head. It also shows the men stomping and kicking him.
Vasquez, sounding groggy, said he remembered being in San Bernardino late Friday night when he was encountered by sheriffs’ deputies.
He said he doesn’t remember much about the arrest of why they stopped him in the first place. He said he’s been on medication and doesn’t remember much after that evening.
“I was just lost, stressed out,” he says, “frustrated. Anger kicked in. And from there on, my feelings exploded.”
Family members also spoke to reporters. They said they are working with attorneys to try to get more information out of the Sheriff’s Department.
“We don’t trust them anymore,” said Rose Trujillo, Vasquez’ aunt. “I’m sorry. How could you, when you’re in danger, how could you call somebody? I’m a taxpayer.”
She believe deputies need more training to help with distraught people.
“You can’t just judge someone by the way they look,” Trujillo said.
A use of force investigation is ongoing. The deputy involved in the video is on paid administrative leave.