By Brett Gillin
Earlier this year, Francis Pusok led California police on a three hour pursuit. Using a vehicle and a horse to attempt to evade police, Pusok became a national headline when a news helicopter captured the end of his arrest. Police were taped kicking and punching Pusok after he fell from his horse, which led to a $650,000 settlement. Pusok may have an awfully hard time spending that money, however, now that he’s been arrested on 14 criminal counts for actions he took before his eventual arrest.
View the video here:
On April 9, police arrived at Pusok’s residence to serve a warrant related to an identity-theft investigation they were pursuing, according to Rawstory.com. Pusok, who police claim was high on marijuana and amphetamines at the time, decided to flee from the police rather than submit to the warrant.
Police reports state that Pusok initially drove off in a car, but ditched that vehicle shortly after he left the residence. At that point, he ran a short distance and stole a horse. Police in off-road vehicles and helicopters eventually caught up to Pusok as he fell off his horse. At this point, as footage captured by news cameras shows, Pusok appears to throw himself on the ground with his arms outstretched. Two deputies then jumped on Pusok and repeatedly punched and kicked him.
As other officers showed up to the scene, they also appeared to join in, and the beating went on for more than two minutes. The video sparked outrage, and ten San Bernardino County police officers are still on administrative leave pending the conclusion of an internal investigation and an FBI probe.
San Bernardino County then agreed to pay Pusok $650,000 in exchange for him agreeing to not pursue any legal claims against the county or police department regarding the incident.
But the ordeal for Pusok is far from over, as last week, prosecutors filed a 14-count criminal complaint against him. While many of the charges are related to the events that led to his arrest, several of them predate the incident, according to the LA Times. Pusok has been charged with the theft of three different vehicles, receipt of stolen property, reckless driving, evading police, resisting arrest, possessing ammunition, stealing a horse, animal cruelty, and being under the influence of marijuana and amphetamine.
If Pusok is convicted of these charges, he could face 19 years and four month in prison. He is set to be arraigned on June 16th on these charges, and The Press Enterprise reports that attorneys may attempt to place an extremely high bail on Pusok due to his flight risk and newly-acquired financial means.