2 Alameda deputies facing charges over taped beating in SF

ALAMEDA (KTVU) -- Two Alameda County Sheriff's deputies are facing criminal charges in connection with the beating of a man caught on tape.

Deputies Luis Santamaria, a 14-year-veteran, and Paul Wieber, a 3-year veteran, have been charged with three felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon, battery and assault under color of authority, authorities said.  Bail was set at $140,000 for each deputy and they were expected to surrender by Wednesday, according to the district attorney.

An arraignment date for the deputies was pending. The charges stem from the beating of Stanislav Petrov, 29, last year.

The district attorney, FBI and San Francisco police conducted the internal investigation that led to the charges.

“Policing that violates our constitutional rights damages the reputation of every person that wears the uniform, and it damages the public’s perception of those that are sworn to serve.” District Attorney George Gascón said in a written statement.  “When officers take the law into their own hands, they undermine the moral authority of the entire criminal justice system.”  

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Petrov was accused of leading Alameda sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase from unincorporated San Leandro to San Francisco in the moments before the incident. The deputies are accused of attacking Petrov after he crashed and fled into an alley in the Mission District.

Surveillance video of the brutal beating from the Nov. 12, 2015 incident shows two sheriff's deputies tackling Petrov in a San Francisco alley. Authorities have said Petrov used the stolen vehicle to ram a sheriff's patrol car.

Deputies Luis Santamaria and Paul Wieber are seen chasing Petrov down the alley near Stevenson and Clinton Park in the city's Mission District. Petrov appears to stop and surrender. He is pushed to the ground and struck by the deputies' batons multiple times on the head.

His attorney, Mike Haddad, has said that his client suffered a concussion and broke nearly every finger bone in his hands. Petrov has filed a complaint against the county seeking monetary damages for what his attorney has said was "the worst law enforcement beating we've seen on video since Rodney King."

Petrov's attorneys have alleged the department engaged in a "vast cover up" that was exposed only because surveillance video of the incident was obtained by the city's Public Defender's Office and released publicly the following day.

The lawyers have said Petrov was trying to surrender when the deputies tackled him to the ground and struck him more than 40 times with their batons. According to written reports submitted by the deputies, Santamaria and Wieber wrote that they feared Petrov was about to ambush them.

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