SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) – A suspect wanted in the robbery of a mail carrier was taken into custody Tuesday night in Canyon Country, but cell phone video of the arrest conducting by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies has prompted a use-of-force investigation.
According to the sheriff’s department, the situation unfolded when a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier was robbed at around 5:30 p.m. The USPS carrier said the suspect simulated a handgun.
About one hour later, at about 6:30 p.m., deputies came upon a man walking with a package in the 17700 block of Danielson Street.
When the man told deputies the package did not belong to him, they attempted to arrest him in connection with the earlier robbery.
“The man became uncooperative and a use of force occurred,” LASD said in a statement Wednesday morning.
A 2-minute, 20-second cell phone video taken from inside a nearby car — which was later posted to social media — shows the two deputies wrestling on the ground on the side of the road with the male suspect. At one point, one of the deputies puts the man in a chokehold.
Eventually, one of the deputies lies flat on top of the suspect in some grass as they appear to try and handcuff him.
The sheriff’s department reported that the suspect, who was not named, suffered moderate injuries but did not require hospitalization. It’s unclear if a weapon was recovered.
He was identified by the postal carrier as the robbery suspect and later booked on charges of robbery and assault on a peace officer, LASD reported.
In a media briefing Wednesday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the man told deputies “the package did not belong to him.”
“That’s a clue,” Villanueva added. “The deputies attempted to detain the man regarding a theft investigation, which sounds like a good idea, right?”
Watch the arrest below. This video may be disturbing to some viewers.
TW POLICE BRUTALITY — earlier today in santa clarita two los angeles county sheriff’s deputies responded to a Black man in psychological distress by placing him in a chokehold and beating him bloody. he was eventually transported in an ambulance; we don’t have further info atm. pic.twitter.com/YtNhdqUwlu
— jess 🤬 (@pigeater420) March 31, 2021