VISTA (NEWS 8) - A short video clip that surfaced on social media Tuesday has launched an internal San Diego County Sheriff's Department review of the actions taken by the deputies during an arrest in Vista.
A video clip posted to a public Instagram account by fatima.martinezz shows San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies arresting Gerardo Martinez Sr. and Gerardo Martinez Jr. on a sidewalk area at a condominium complex in Vista. The video appears to show two deputies picking Martinez Sr. up off the ground, handcuffed, and then walking him toward a wooden fence where the man's head is slammed into the fence.
At the same time, four deputies are shown in the video to be holding Martinez Jr. down on a concrete sidewalk where he is apparently being hit in the head. It is unclear if the suspect on the ground is handcuffed.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's department stated the suspects were arrested for several assault related charges - including assault with a deadly weapon and felony domestic violence.
Instagram post by fatima.martinezz of the arrest:
The sheriff's department issued a statement Tuesday saying that they have launched an internal investigation as soon as officials became aware of the video.
"Gerardo Martinez Sr. and Gerardo Martinez Jr. were arrested for several assault related charges including assault with a deadly weapon and felony domestic violence. We were made aware of a video of their arrest early in the afternoon on Tuesday, May 8th. Upon reviewing the video, we immediately opened an internal investigation into the actions taken by the deputies. This review will be comprehensive and include reviewing body worn camera video, all relevant reports and interviews with involved parties. The deputies involved in this incident have been placed on administrative assignment while this case is fully investigated."
The video was posted to Instagram Tuesday, May 8 and so far has received over 30,000 views.
According to an update sent from the sheriff's department on Tuesday, the department received a 911 call on Monday "from a woman who was the victim of domestic violence and being held against her will at 1120 Madera Lane, Vista. Deputies responded to the call. As a result of that call, two men were ultimately arrested."
The release goes on to say Martinez Jr. was booked on charges of false imprisonment, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, assault with a deadly weapon, obstruction/resisting executive officer and disobeying a court order.
Martinez Sr. was booked on charges of obstructing a public officer, according to officials.
Local civil rights leader Rev. Shane Harris, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Action Network, held a news conference Wednesday to address the incident.
Rev. Harris says he's calling for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to release body camera footage as well as answer questions as to what happened.
Rev. Shane Harris, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Action Network, held a news conference Wednesday May 9, 2018.