The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) has launched a deputy conduct investigation after it was made aware of an arrest incident involving Vista deputies that was captured on video.
The 22-second video posted on Facebook shows two deputies walking an apparently handcuffed man down a walkway and shoving him head first into a wooden fence.
Meanwhile, two other deputies are attempting to take another man into custody on the ground. One of the deputies is seen striking the man in the back of the head as he lay face down on the concrete. Deputies are heard telling the man to "stop fighting."
The video was taken by a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.
"I can't believe that it happened to my neighbors," the man said. "If I was in position to help them, I would have helped them not be abused like that."
An SDSO statement released Tuesday said the deputies were responding to a call Monday involving a domestic violence victim who was being held against her will.
"After initial review by command staff, two deputies were placed on paid administrative assignment pending an internal investigation. As we continue to gather and evaluate the facts of this case, the internal review might change in scope," the statement said.
The SDSO said it would be reviewing the deputies’ body-worn camera footage as part of its investigation.
A father and son, Gerardo Martinez Jr., 23, and Gerardo Martinez Sr., 50, were arrested in the incident.
Martinez Jr. was booked on false imprisonment, domestic violence, assault, and resisting arrest charges. His dad was charged with obstructing a public officer and has since bailed out of jail.
The National Action Network held a press conference Wednesday to question what they say is an excessive use of force on two men who were already in custody, and called for an independent investigation.
"He takes that man and he throws him against the fence as if he's some ragdoll," NAN's Reverend Shane Harris said og the incident. "[The internal investigation] we know is not going to work because you're investigating yourself, so let's be fair here, let's be transparent here, and that's what we're calling for today.
The SDSO said it would share the results of its investigation with the DA's office.