Deputies placed on administrative duty as investigation into arrest video continues

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Sheriff’s deputies involved in a controversial arrest in Vista were placed on administrative duty as the department conducts an internal investigation into the incident.

Video posted on Facebook this week shows the interaction between two unnamed deputies and two men placed under arrest. The woman who shared the video claims the deputies used excessive force during the arrest and wants justice for the two men.

The video has since been removed from Facebook, but it showed Gerardo Martinez Jr. face down on a sidewalk while handcuffed. His father, Gerardo Martinez Sr., is walking while also handcuffed when deputies suddenly slammed him into a fence, the video showed.

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Moments later, the video showed Martinez Jr. -- still lying face down on the ground -- repeatedly struck in the head by a deputy.

The clip was less than 30 seconds in length and it did not show the events that led up to the men’s arrests.

10News learned the deputies were responding to a domestic violence report involving Martinez Jr. and a woman. The father and son were arrested on several assault-related charges, including felony domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon, Sheriff Bill Gore confirmed.

Neighbor Lorena Rosas told 10News, “It made me so angry because I know that man. That man would not get into anybody’s business. I think he was just trying to say, ‘Hey, what are you doing with my son?’ and he gets treated that way. And it was obvious that the officer just slammed him into the fence; it’s not like he was trying to resist. He was already standing, they already had him handcuffed and they just slammed him into the fence.”

In a statement, Gore said:

"Gerardo Martinez Sr. and Gerardo Martinez Jr. were arrested for several assault related charges including assault with a deadly weapon and felony domestic violence. We were made aware of a video of their arrest early in the afternoon on Tuesday, May 8th. Upon reviewing the video, we immediately opened an internal investigation into the actions taken by the deputies. This review will be comprehensive and include reviewing body worn camera video, all relevant reports and interviews with involved parties. The deputies involved in this incident have been placed on administrative assignment while this case is fully investigated."
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