San Diego man claims deputies roughed him up

Posted at 6:31 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 20:18:37-05

San Diego (KGTV) - A San Diego man claims San Diego County Sheriff deputies roughed him up in jail and the incident was caught on camera.

He’s calling the deputies' actions an abuse of power.

“I’m actually pissed,” said Joshua Strode. “I’m actually very angry.”

San Diego State University police arrested Strode back in June for being drunk in public, something he denies.

Strode was taken to San Diego Central Jail. He claimed he was inside the first-floor intake area when deputies came at him from all directions.

“I kept on trying to tell them, 'You’re hurting me badly, please stop," he said.

A video given to Team 10 from inside the jail shows Strode’s encounter with law enforcement.
It starts with a violent takedown, followed by knees to the body and closed fist punches to what appears to be the face.

The video doesn’t have any sound, so we can’t hear what’s being said during or leading up to the incident.

According to a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department officer report obtained by Team 10, a deputy claims he observed Strode yelling incoherently and making erratic movements of his body.

Strode tells a different version.

"He says put your hands behind your back,” Strode said. “I say, 'I can't because my clavicle's broken,' and before I can even finish that sentence, the next thing you know it's just violence.”

The video shows Strode being thrown to the floor, and then more deputies rushing in. The video also shows what appears to be officers executing a series of knee strikes and punches while Strode visibly thrashes on the ground.

Strode said he was also tased by a deputy during the episode.

According to the time code on the video, the violent encounter lasts less than a minute. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department declined to comment for this story citing pending litigation, but at least one deputy claims the force was justified.

In the report a deputy wrote, “As he turned toward me, I was able to maintain control of his right arm and noticed he had his fists clenched. Strode was now facing directly towards me.”

The deputy describes fearing Strode would assault him with part of the handcuffs that was still on one of Strode’s hands stating, “I made the decision to place Strode in a position of disadvantage by taking Strode down to the floor.”

The deputy stated that while on the ground “Strode immediately began to squeeze down onto my arm using his fingernails."

The deputy claimed in the report that Strode kneed him in the face and violently kicked his legs among other things. He wrote, “Had I not used force onto Strode, Strode would have continued his assaultive behavior, potentially causing harm to one of us.”

"Even though we got the police report that says Mr. Strode balled his fists and took a fighting stance, thankfully we have the video that shows none of that happened,” said Strode’s attorney Brody McBride.

McBride said there’s no excuse for what you see on the video. When asked by Team 10 investigator Adam Racusin if it was excessive force, McBride said, “Absolutely."

Strode is no angel. He’s got a criminal record that dates back years.

Team 10 investigator Adam Racusin asked Strode why he didn’t deserve everything the deputies did.

"Because I did nothing wrong,” Strode said.

Strode was charged with battery of an officer and resisting an officer. But according to court paperwork, the case was dismissed. Strode and his attorney filed a claim with the county for damages.

San Diego County officials wouldn’t comment on Strode's claim, also citing pending litigation.