A man suspected of identity theft and of stealing a horse recently received $650,000 in connection with injuries he sustained during a highly publicized arrest.

Chase Ending in Violence

The incident began when sheriff’s deputies went to the man’s home to serve a search warrant relating to an identity theft case. The suspect allegedly fled the scene initially by car but later abandoned his vehicle and got on a horse.

The chase that followed was captured on video, its contents quickly becoming viral and eliciting outrage among viewers. The video showed a deputy tazing the suspect on a horse, followed by other deputies punching and kicking him several times after he fell to the ground apparently stunned and motionless. A total of 11 deputies eventually gathered around the beaten suspect who did not receive immediate medical attention at the scene.

Investigation and Settlement

An internal investigation of the incident soon followed the release of the video and the deputies who were allegedly involved were suspended. The video showed that the deputies kicked the suspect 17 times, punched him 37 times and hit him with batons. The suspect suffered undisclosed injuries and was treated in an unnamed facility.

A few days after the incident, the San Bernardino county announced that it was paying the suspect $650,000 in order to avoid potential litigation expenses arising from the apparent beating shown on video. The suspect is still facing charges of grand theft and felony evading.

Crime of Grand Theft

Grand theft generally involves the unlawful taking of property, money, or labor valued at above $950. It is also grand theft when the subject of the unlawful taking is a car, horse, livestock, or firearm, regardless of value. The penalty for grand theft is imprisonment of up to 3 years, or for a longer period depending on aggravating circumstances that prosecution may prove.

If you are charged with theft, you may be entitled to criminal defenses that include:

  • Right of possession or claim of ownership of the thing
  • Mistake of law or fact
  • Consent of the owner of the thing
  • Entrapment
  • Intoxication resulting in lack of intent to steal

In California, the law firm of David Kestenbaum has years of experience in the practice of criminal law, helping clients set up effective criminal defense strategies against theft and other criminal cases.

David S. Kestenbaum holds the distinction of Preeminent Criminal Defense Attorney from Lexis Nexis and is the recipient of the AV rating from Martindale-Hubell.

If you have been charged with theft, we invite you to call us today at (818) 616-4312 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss the circumstances of your case.