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No More Horsing Around: Police Beat Rider After Desert Chase (VIDEO)

© KNBCScreen Shot of Police Beating
Screen Shot of Police Beating - Sputnik International
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office in southern California is under investigation for what appears to be the brutal beating of an unarmed man on horseback.

Sheriff John McMahon announced Friday that ten deputies involved in the incident had been suspended with pay pending the investigation. He said the beating appeared to be "excessive."

Several officers were caught on tape by a news helicopter hovering above. The whole thing started when authorities tried to serve Francis Pusok with a warrant in an identity theft case. He fled his home and drove off.

He later abandoned his car, stole a horse, and rode it through rough terrain in a rural area one hour east of Los Angeles.

After being bucked by the horse, sheriff deputies caught up with the suspect and tasered him. Pusok fell face first on the ground, and that’s when the police began hitting him. KNBC estimates that in a span of two minutes, Pusok was punched 37 times, kicked 17 times, and hit four times with a baton.

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"I’m disturbed by what I see in the video," McMahon told KNBC TV. "But I don’t need to jump to conclusions at this point, until we do a complete and thorough investigation. If our deputy sheriffs did something wrong, they’ll be put off work and they’ll be dealt with appropriately, all in accordance with the law as well as our department policy."

KNBC reported that Pusok was on the ground for about 45 minutes without getting medical attention. He was later hospitalized but there have been no details on the extent of his injuries.

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