ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona deputy under investigation for punching handcuffed suspect in face

Mar 15, 2024, 4:00 PM

Arizona deputy investigated for use of force incident, CCSO says...

The incident took place on Wednesday in Doney Park, authorities said. (Coconino County Sheriff's Office photo/via Facebook)

(Coconino County Sheriff's Office photo/via Facebook)

PHOENIX — A deputy with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is being investigated for a use of force incident, authorities announced on Thursday.

The deputy is accused of punching a handcuffed suspect in the face during a Wednesday arrest, CCSO said.

This incident took place after a trespassing report called the deputy to the city of Doney Park, CCSO said. The city is around 10 miles east of Flagstaff.

How did the use of force incident occur?

While investigating, the deputy found probable cause to arrest three suspects for trespassing and other misdemeanor charges, CCSO said.

A struggle broke out when the deputy was escorting one of the suspects to a patrol vehicle. Despite being handcuffed, the suspect briefly pulled away from the arresting deputy.

At this point, the deputy struck the suspect two times in the face with their fist, CCSO said. After punching the suspect, the deputy had control.

However, the sergeant on scene immediately intervened, ensuring the suspect was brought to the CCSO Detention Facility without further incident.

The altercation left the suspect with a minor injury, CCSO said.

Sheriff’s office asked Flagstaff police to look into the incident

The sheriff’s office then asked the Flagstaff Police Department to launch a criminal investigation into the use of force incident.

The case is still under investigation and the deputy is currently on administrative leave, CCSO said.

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Arizona deputy under investigation for punching handcuffed suspect in face