San Rafael police officers on leave after bloody takedown of man with beer can

Two San Rafael police officers were placed on paid leave Friday after body-camera video showed them leaving a man bloodied after taking him down to the ground.

The incident happened in July after Officer Daisy Mazariegos spotted a man with an open beer container on Windward Way.

"Put your beer down!" she tells the man.

"You know, I have nothing to say," he says.

"You have nothing to say? You're just out here drinking, you think it's funny? the officer replies

"No, it's not funny," he says.

The officer tells the man to sit down and provide her with ID.

Things heat up after Officer Brandon Nail arrives. The man gets up to retrieve his ID, but the officers tell him to sit down.

"Hey, sit the f- down!" Nail yells at the man.

"Hey you don't have to talk to me," the man replies.

"Well, I told you to sit down," Mazariegos says.

The officers continue to ask him for ID, and he says he has to stand up to do so.

That's when officers grab him and take him to the ground. During the takedown, Nail hits the man.

"They just grabbed the guy, punched him, ground his face into the gravel, it's not right," said the man's attorney Charlie Dresow.

The man's face ends up bloodied, and he suffered a broken nose and concussion, Dresow said.

"I didn't do anything," the man tells the officers.

"I told you to sit down," Mazariegos says.

Afterward, Officer Nail described what happened to another officer.

"His face is blown up," Nail says.

"What's that?" the other officer asks.

"He had a bad day," Nail replies and laughs.

Minutes later, Nail tells the same officer the man attacked him.

"He put me in a headlock," Nail says.

:What's that?"

"He put me in a headlock," Nail says.



A sergeant later remarked, "You're giving me great experience with use of forces, dude."

Dresow said, "In the criminal justice system, either everyone matters or no one matters ,and the police officers in this case treated him like he didn't matter."

The attorney said the officers' comments afterward were telling.

"It's insulting to the human dignity of my client. It shows the sort of level of institutional arrogance with the two police officers," Dresow said.

San Rafael police Lt. Scott Eberle said that two officers were placed on paid administrative leave on Friday.

Mazariegos, a San Rafael native, is a former cadet with the department who has been an officer for two years.

Nail, a former Sausalito police officer, has been with San Rafael for three years.

"The allegations are not reflective of the San Rafael Police Department," Eberle said. 

"We understand that this incident definitely eroded some of that trust and some of that relationship that we have built over the many years," Eberle said. "If any of these allegations are sustained, there will be immediate action."

In a statement, Chief David Spiller said, in part, "I recognize the anguish this incident has caused and am saddened by it."