Man with Down syndrome mistakenly pepper-sprayed by deputy - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man with Down syndrome mistakenly pepper-sprayed by deputy

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VISTA, Calif. (AP) - A San Diego County sheriff's official has apologized to the family of a man with Down syndrome who was struck and pepper-sprayed by a deputy.

A local TV station reported 21-year-old Antonio Martinez was left with bruises after Tuesday night's confrontation near the family's Vista bakery.

Sheriff's Capt. Joe Rodi says deputies were looking for a possible domestic violence suspect when they saw Martinez walk by and cover his head with a sweatshirt hood.

Rodi says a deputy thought Martinez was trying to conceal his identity and when Martinez refused to stop, he used pepper spray and then hit him with a baton several times. Martinez was handcuffed on the ground.

Rodi told the family the confrontation was a mistake and a deputy drove Martinez to the hospital.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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