STANTON (CBSLA) – An intoxicated man was punched in the face several times by an Orange County deputy during an arrest captured on camera. The man’s attorney claims the deputy used excessive force and then lied about the incident.
“There should be no punches to the face. He was incredibly intoxicated. There was no reason for force or violence here,” said public defender Scott Sanders.
A concerned citizen asked the Orange County Sheriff’s deputies to check on Mohamed Sayem, who was sleeping in his car behind the Corner Pocket bar in Stanton on Aug. 19.
Dashcam video shows the deputy punch him in the face multiple times before he falls to the ground.
Sanders argued that his client did not try to push past the deputy to get out of the car. He added the felony resisting and deterring charge Sayem faces is as excessive as the force used against him.
Sanders claimed the deputy changed his story about Sayem’s behavior when exiting the Jeep several times.
“Don’t create a new false set of facts and then blame it on the defendant,” he said.
In a written statement, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in part: “The deputy made every attempt to deescalate the situation and provide the subject multiple opportunities to simply provide his identification. The subject refused to do so and attempted to physically engage the deputy, during which the deputy used force appropriate for the situation to gain control of an uncooperative, assaultive and intoxicated person.”
Mary Zabrowski owns the Corner Pocket. She said she didn’t see Sayem inside that night, but that the video of the confrontation looked bad for deputies and the man who admittedly drank too much.
“I can see it from both sides, but I still think the guy in the car was an idiot,” she said. “They were both wrong. The guy should have shown his ID, but the cops were a little excessive there, yes.”