But For Video: Horse With No Name Edition

The chase lasted three hours, after sheriff’s deputies in Apple Valley, California, tried to serve a search warrant on Francis Jared Pusok for identity theft.  Pusok took off, and deputies followed.

Authorities said the incident began around 12:12 p.m. when deputies from the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station served a search warrant at a home in the 25300 block of Zuni Road in unincorporated Apple Valley. The warrant was reportedly related to an identity theft investigation. Sheriff’s officials said Pusok fled the residence in a blue Dodge sedan when deputies arrived.

Pusok drove away, refused to yield to deputies, and a pursuit began in the area of Laguna Seca and Standing Rock roads in Apple Valley. The pursuit continued onto southbound Central Avenue and into Apple Valley town limits briefly, before continuing south into unincorporated Hesperia and onto Bowen Ranch Road. The pursuit reached speeds of 70 mph on paved roads, and 50 mph on the dirt roads south of Bowen Ranch Road, authorities said.

But Pusok then stole an unidentified horse and rode into the desert, where the bulk of the chase occurred. Eventually, deputies caught up to Pusok on the unnamed horse and nailed him with a Taser. What happened next was caught on video by a news helicopter.

As appears clearly in the video, Pusok was on the ground, hands out, which was the perfect moment for a good kick in the head. But that was only the downpayment on the price of flight.

“A use of force occurred during the arrest,” sheriff’s officials said in a news release. “An internal investigation will be conducted regarding the use of force.”

By a “use of force,” they mean:

NBC4 said deputies administered nearly 60 blows with feet, hands or batons. More than a dozen were to the head.

While it’s possible that the deputies observed “invisible signs” such as muscle tightening or a change in breathing, which sometimes occurs as a person is beaten and kicked in the head, giving rise to their deep fear of harm from stubbing their toes on Pusok’s face, it appears far more likely that the deputies were just really pissed that Pusok made them work so hard to catch him, and decided to teach him that they were not amused by his flight.

And the injuries?

Three deputies who were suffering from dehydration and possible neck and back injuries were airlifted from the area to hospitals. Pusok was also transported. The horse was removed from the area and deputies were working on returning it to its owner.

While Pusok’s flight from search and potential arrest was clearly not the most well-conceived reaction, and it’s understandable that the deputies were less than thrilled at the prospect of being taken on a three hour tour of the desert, they still aren’t allowed to administer their own brand of punishment for Pusok’s failure to respect their authoritah.  Once down, the chase was over, there was no threat of harm and Pusok should have been taken into custody. Instead, they just beat the crap out of him.

Of course, the significance of the beating, which might otherwise arouse serious concern, is put into context by the requisite background smear to remind us that Pusok isn’t worthy of the attention of law-abiding readers, and probably deserved a good beating regardless:

Court records show Pusok has an extensive criminal history. Since 2006, Pusok has been sentenced to San Bernardino County jails for attempted robbery, fighting and misdemeanor obstructing an officer, court records show. His most serious offense came for a Nov. 25, 2013 incident in which he was convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty and resisting an executive officer. He was sentenced to 233 days in jail and five years probation.

In that 2013 case, charges including threatening a school employee, willful cruelty to a child, vandalism, making a criminal threat and being a felon in possession of a firearm were dropped as part of a plea agreement, according to court records.

He later failed to comply with the requirements to attend a 12-hour anger management course.

Notably, this “extensive” criminal history tops out at a misdemeanor conviction for animal cruelty, which clarifies the need for extreme caution in securing this dangerous horse thief:

In the NBC4 video, Pusok is seen falling off his horse before being stunned with a Taser at least twice. After falling to the ground, Pusok extends his arms and puts them behind his back. At that point, three deputies began kicking and punching him before two more deputies joined in. By the end of the incident, one dozen deputies are huddled around Pusok, who is still lying on the ground, but not all 12 of the deputies participated in the beating.

Before you question why all 12 deputies failed to do their duty, bear in mind that it can be hard to jockey for position to get a decent blow in, and sometimes a deputy simply finds himself ill-placed for a good kick to the head. It’s just physics, and not necessarily a failing of the deputy per se.

Once the video was revealed, Sheriff John McMahon took swift action.

Sheriff John McMahon said he has ordered an internal investigation to be “conducted immediately.”

“The video surrounding this arrest is disturbing and I have ordered an internal investigation be conducted immediately,” McMahon said in a written statement. 

Thankfully, the unnamed stolen horse was apparently unharmed by either Pusok or the deputies.

H/T Curtis

18 thoughts on “But For Video: Horse With No Name Edition

  1. Turk

    “A use of force occurred during the arrest,” sheriff’s officials said in a news release.

    Always the passive tense.

  2. Piedmont

    “Attempted Robbery” sounds like a felony to me. It’s of minimal relevance, but there it is.

    As bad as it is that 2…3…4…5 or more officers are administering the blows (including kicks to the head) to a defenseless person in their custody, it’s even more appalling that no supervisor on-scene did anything to stop it. That speaks to more than (unjustified, but perhaps understandable) frustrated lashing-out by a few low-level people pushed too far, but to a department-wide mindset.

    1. SHG Post author

      What’s the attempted robbery got to do with it? If it was murder, so what? You arrest and prosecute, not beat in the desert.

      1. CLS

        Willful cruelty towards a child?

        Animal cruelty?


        Threatening a teacher?

        Identity theft?

        Etc etc etc.

        This POS is evil beyond conception.

        I wish the horse had thrown him and as a result the POS suffered a broken neck…resulting in him being a quadriplegic.

        Francis Jared Pusok is the worst humanity has to offer.

        This POS is just mean and certainly a sadist.

        Hope he’s brain dead.

        The police should be praised.

        BTW talk to the victims of this POS and see what they think?

        I guarantee they delivered justice.

        1. SHG Post author

          He may well be “evil beyond conception.” So they should arrest, prosecute, convict and sentence.

          You, on the other hand, are ignorant beyond conception. Sadly, there is no parole from stupidity.

          1. REvers

            I’ve never quite understood why the “BUT HE BROKE THE LAW AND DESERVES TO DIE!” crowd never seem to be able to apply that calculus to the cops when they break the law. Other than the fact that they have brains the size of walnuts, I mean.

  3. Arctic_Attorney

    And here I thought that if you went through a desert on a horse with no name there ain’t no one for to give you no pain. The promise of America fails again.

    I’ll show myself out.

    1. Harry

      I’ve had that America tune running through my head since the 2nd paragraph. I guess I’m not the only one. Thanks SHG – it’s a classic.

  4. John Barleycorn

    Such a kick in the balls. This cop chase video had the potential to go viral for all the right reasons too.

    One would think a seasoned identity thief would have a little more cross-genre inter-generational equestrian skills in them. I am disappointed.


    P.S. I wonder if, adjusted for inflation, badged bandits get paid more by suburban municipalities to chase down and beat outlaws than the railroad barons used to pay?

  5. Chris

    I can’t understand how this is still happening in this country. We had riots, nationwide demonstrations, and entire Black Lives Matter movement, and those cops were on film. And yet this still happens.

    The African American community is incredibly, unbelievably tolerant. I have a feeling that, if they were threatening to start a violent revolt (i.e., Black Panther party), much more compromise would be offered to them to make things right. People seem to forget that much of Martin Luther King’s influence was because he was a much more appealing compromise than the extremists who promoted violence. You need the scary extremists, because they make the compromise look a lot better.

    1. SHG Post author

      I am strongly against violence, and usually refuse to post comments suggesting that violence is an answer. Your comment, however, makes a valuable point in a thoughtful way.

  6. Sean Stegmann

    Francis Jared Pusok on 04/06/15 after 3am paced up and down my fence line like an animal until we had turned off our lights In our house, cut through my fence, cut the lock off my gate, crawled through my chain link fence, paced the Iside of my property, jumped my block wall surrounding my home, came In to my garage through my back door, came In to my home while we slept, stole my keys to my street bike (gsxr 1000), went back Into my garage, opened my electric garage door and stole my street bike. With no regard to his safety, his families or the safety of anyone else. The police arrived to my home within minutes and put out an all points bulletin. On 04/09/15at about 10am I was told that Francis Jared Pusok was the person who was In my home, did property damage to my home, stole my street bike, key and other property belonging to me as well as put my family at risk and terrorized their safety. I picked up my bike from Francis Jared Pusok’s house In Apple Valley. (I live I Lucerne Valley) Officers located my street bike at his and his familie’s home In their locked back yard. My motorcycle cable and lock were on another stolen bike In their back yard. The key to my motor cycle In his and his girldfriend’s bedroom. His finger and hand prints all over my bike. The officers loaded two roll back tow trucks worth of stolen property from the back yard of Pusok and his girlfriend. My motorcycle Is damaged. My family doesn’t feel safe In their own home. My wife can’t sleep In fear Pusok, his family or friends will be back to continue to violate our family. Who dropped him off at my home to rob it? Why did he travel to Lucerne Valley from Apple Valley to steal my property and terrorize my family? How did he know of my street bike? Why didn’t his girlfriend get arrested for storing stolen property in their yard and house? She knows of his past behavior and current behaviors as a girlfriend would. Why did they put their children in danger as they have and then try to blame others for harm to their family? Why did they go out of their way to target my family? We don’t know these people.

    [Ed. Note: Links deleted per rules.]

    1. SHG Post author

      So? It’s irrelevant whether Pusok is a good guy or a total piece of shit. If he committed crimes, he should be arrested, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced for them. The cops still don’t get to beat him for the hell of it.

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