SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A North Bay man who was Tasered and beaten in his home by a sheriff’s deputy during a domestic disturbance call last year and captured the violent scene on video is filing suit.
The incident happened back in September. Deputies were responding to reports of a domestic dispute at a home on Highland Bouelvard in Sonoma County’s Boyes Hot Springs neighborhood.
“I’ve got you on video. Go ahead, Tase me,” the victim, Fernando Del Valle, is heard saying in the video. Moments later, the deputy deploys the stun gun, sending Del Valle to the ground screaming in pain.
He says the police beat down only got worse.
At another point, he can be heard screaming and shouting expletives in pain after he claims he was hit with a baton in the leg.
Del Valle says a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy keeps Tasering and beating him long after the cell phone stopped recording.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department evaluated the cell phone video and video from the deputies’ chest cams and agreed it was excessive force.
They fired Deputy Scott Thorne. He is now facing a count of felony assault.
“It’s not just the excessive force,” said Del Valle’s attorney Izaak Schwaiger. “This particular officer had been terminated by two previous agencies over similar actions. The Sonoma County Sheriff knew that and hired him anyway.”
Del Valle is now suing Sonoma County.
“You can have a police officer, who’s supposed to protect, welding this amount of force on an innocent man. It’s shocking,” said Schwaiger.
Del Valles attorney says neighbors called 911 after they heard the victim and his wife arguing.
“My client was in this argument with wife because he didn’t notice her new haircut,” said Schwaiger.
The attorney says the victim decided to cool things off by going to bed. And that was when three deputies showed up and kicked down the bedroom door.
“The worst decisions; entry into the home, kicking down the door, using the baton,” said Schwaiger. “They did every single thing wrong.”
Former Deputy Thorne will be in court next month for the felony assault. The other two deputies won’t face any charges.