SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) – A 21-year-old man who was caught on video being punched and kicked by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy during his arrest has been found after he went missing following his release from jail.
The family of Gerardo Vasquez 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.
A video released this week by SBSD showed the violent arrest of Vasquez that took place at around 1 a.m. on 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. Within about 10 seconds, a sheriff’s cruiser pulls up and a second deputy jumps out to assist.
As the second deputy is helping to subdue the suspect, the first deputy appears to punch Vasquez in the head. The two then work together to handcuff him.
As they attempt to lift him up, the same deputy then kicks Vasquez in the head twice, and then appears to stomp on his head once.
The deputy in question, who has not been named, was placed on administrative leave, the sheriff’s department reports.
Vasquez was arrested on charges of resisting and obstructing an officer and was booked into the West Valley Detention Center. He was later released from custody and had been missing ever since, according to his family.
Trujillo told CBS2 that Vasquez had gone out with friends on the night the arrest occurred. She doesn’t know why or how he ended up alone on Highland Avenue.
“He’s never been in trouble with the law, we’ve never had trouble with him with the law, from what we know, nothing at all,” Trujillo told CBS2 Thursday.
Isis said that Vasquez had struggled with depression in the past and had received treatment at the Community Hospital of San Bernardino.
“They released him and since then, he’s been completely fine,” Trujillo said. “He had a job, he was applying for college, he was doing great. We want to know both sides of the story, because we deserve to know both sides of the story.”
An attorney representing Vasquez’s family has scheduled a Friday afternoon news conference.