SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Two Alameda County sheriff's deputies have been placed on leave after they were caught on surveillance video repeatedly beating a car thief suspect. Stanislav Petrov, 29, was hospitalized after the attack.
The disturbing surveillance video shows the deputies beating the hell out of Petrov with their fists and batons. The beat-down was powerful enough to wake up a witness who lives in an apartment nearby.
"I heard just loud smack, smack, smacks," said Rebop Rundgren, "I really thought they were gunshots cause they were super loud."
Rundgren says he rushed to his window after hearing the deputies screaming.
"He tried to get up and crawl away while they were beating him. That's when I heard his screaming like, 'stop, help me,' or something of that sort."
Attorneys at the public defender's office are calling it nothing short of an assault.
"This is not only excessive force, but it's brutality," said Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
"I look forward to police explain this conduct because as far as I'm concerned, it's criminal conduct," says Chief Attorney Matt Gonzales.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office says there was plenty of criminal conduct that led up to the violent confrontation. They say Petrov stole a car, rammed a sheriff's vehicle, and ended up in a chase from San Leandro to San Francisco, where he ultimately smashed his car and ran. Deputies allegedly found a loaded and cocked handgun on the passenger seat of the stolen car.
He's charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, felony evading, felony hit-and-run and weapons charges. Deputies say he had multiple felony warrants out for his arrest at the time of the chase.
Needless to say, this case won't be 'Gone in Sixty Seconds.'