Video Shows Imperial County Official Striking Boy With Belt

Anthony Sanchez Under Investigation After Footage Surfaces

A city official from Imperial County is responding to footage that shows him striking a boy with a strap as they played catch in a backyard.

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Anthony Sanchez, director of the Imperial County Irrigation District, is being investigated after video surfaced of him repeatedly hitting his stepson with what appears to be a belt.

After about 15 minutes of witnessing the man hitting the boy, the neighbor who shot the video, Oscar Lopez, began shouting at the man to stop.

"It was heart-wrenching. It was tough," said Lopez.

Lopez said the man in the video is Sanchez, and he turned the footage over to authorities.

"He said, 'You know what, you better throw that football right. You practice because when you start playing football, they're all going to laugh at you. They're going to tell you you suck because of the way you throw a football,'" Lopez told 10News. "When I found out who it was, I was in shock."

Sanchez's attorney, Ryan Childers, said his client is cooperating. He told 10News they were the ones to initiate contact with Imperial County law enforcement.

"Sometimes the video can be misleading, in terms of what we're perceiving and what's actually going on, so we've got to let them look at that ... whether this warrants even filing charges," said Childers.

10News learned Sanchez is a T-ball and soccer coach.

No charges have been filed.

"Mr. Sanchez, he is an elected official. He's got an outstanding track record of community service, and he's never been in trouble with the law," Childers said.

"You don't have to be a police officer to stop something … just speak up," Lopez said.

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