Deputies On Leave For Pusok Arrest

Photo Courtesy:  SBSD  Francis Pusok, 30, of Apple Valley

Photo Courtesy: SBSD
Francis Pusok, 30, of Apple Valley

Staff Reports

Apple Valley – Criminal and administrative investigations are currently underway regarding the use of force in the arrest of Francis Pusok.

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, on Thurs., Apr. 9, at approximately 12:12 p.m., Deputies from the Victor Valley station went to a residence on Zuni Road in an attempt to serve a search warrant related to an Identity Theft investigation.

Upon arrival, the suspect, Francis Pusok, fled the location in a vehicle. Deputies pursued Pusok through the unincorporated area of Apple Valley, the Town of Apple Valley and further into the unincorporated area of Hesperia. Pusok abandoned his vehicle southwest of Bowen Ranch and fled on foot. Deputies were actively searching for Pusok on foot, using off-highway vehicles and helicopters.

Within minutes, deputies received information that the suspect came into contact with a group of people near the Deep Creek Hot Springs and stole a horse. Pusok fled on horseback on dirt trails, through very rugged, steep terrain, causing numerous injuries to the horse.
A Sheriff’s helicopter inserted a team of deputies in the area of Hwy 173/Arrowhead Lake Rd. to take the suspect into custody. Deputies made contact with Pusok and as they approached, the horse threw him off. A Taser was deployed by Deputies, but was ineffective due to the suspect’s loose clothing. A use of force occurred during the arrest, sparking the internal investigation.

Two deputies were injured during the search, with injuries consisting of abrasions, a twisted knee and a back injury from being struck by the horse. They have been treated and released.
Francis Pusok was initially treated at a local hospital for minor injuries consisting of abrasions and bruising, and then transported to West Valley Detention Center for booking. He was booked for Felony Evading, Theft of a Horse, Possession of Stolen Property and an active warrant for Reckless Driving. Bail was set at $115,000.

“The video surrounding this arrest is disturbing and I have ordered an internal investigation be conducted immediately”, stated Sheriff John McMahon. He further stated, “In addition, members of the Specialized Investigation Detail are responding to conduct the criminal investigation.”

On Fri., May 8, ten Sheriff’s Deputies were placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.