Two Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs Charged in Connection with Beating of Suspect Captured on Video

News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón

May 10, 2016

CONTACT:       ALEX BASTIAN (415) 553-1931
                        MAX SZABO (415) 553-9089


SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced the filing of felony charges against two Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) deputies in connection with the beating of a suspect that was captured on video.  The defendants are Deputy Sheriff Luis Santamaria, a fourteen year veteran of the ACSO, and Deputy Sheriff Paul Wieber, a three year veteran of the ACSO.
“Policing that violates our constitutional rights damages the reputation of every person that wears the uniform, and it damages the public’s perception of those that are sworn to serve.” said District Attorney George Gascón.  “When officers take the law into their own hands, they undermine the moral authority of the entire criminal justice system.”
The San Francisco Public Corruption Task Force is currently investigating additional allegations related to false police statements, theft, bribery, witness tampering, and/or other wrongdoing related to this case.
According to court records, on November 12, 2015, ACSO Deputy Sheriffs Santamaria and Wieber used their service batons to repeatedly beat Stanislav Petrov in the head and hands, leaving him with serious injuries.  Mr. Petrov used a stolen car to ram two marked ACSO vehicles when deputies attempted to arrest him.  A deputy was hit by one of the vehicles, and sustained minor injuries.  ACSO deputies then gave chase to Mr. Petrov as he fled in the stolen car.  The chase started in Castro Valley, continuing down Highway 580 and winding through Oakland city streets before heading onto the Bay Bridge.  Deputies Santamaria and Wieber were two of the ACSO deputies who pursued Mr. Petrov over the bridge and onto San Francisco city streets.  Mr. Petrov drove through San Francisco at high rates of speed, driving through red lights and driving the wrong way on one-way streets until he ran out of gas and crashed the stolen car at the corner of Stevenson Street and 14th Street.
According to court documents, Mr. Petrov abandoned the stolen car and began to run away from two deputies that were in pursuit, traveling on Stevenson Street and then Clinton Park.  Deputies Santamaria and Wieber left their marked vehicle and continued their pursuit on foot.  While on Clinton Park, Mr. Petrov slowed down and began to put his hands in the air just before Deputy Wieber tackled him.  The two deputies then started to strike Mr. Petrov with their retractable service batons.
Two separate videos capture Deputies Santamaria and Wieber beating Mr. Petrov with their batons over the course of 40 seconds, striking him at least 30 times.  During the beating, Mr. Petrov is heard crying out and saying, “I’m sorry,” “Help me,” and “Oh my God.”  The deputies stopped striking Mr. Petrov when other peace officers from multiple law enforcement agencies arrived and Mr. Petrov was arrested.
Court documents outline numerous injuries that Mr. Petrov sustained as a result of this assault: a concussion, multiple broken bones in both hands, a mild traumatic brain injury, and deep lacerations to his head.  According to court documents, Mr. Petrov subsequently underwent surgery to repair extensive injuries to his hands, including the placement of plates, screws, and pins.
Each deputy is charged in this case with three felonies: Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Battery with Serious Bodily Injury, and Assault under Color of Authority.  The complaint also alleges that the defendants personally inflicted great bodily injury on Petrov and personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon in the commission of the assault and battery.
This case is the result of an investigation that was conducted by the San Francisco District Attorney Bureau of Investigations with assistance from the FBI Public Corruption Squad and the San Francisco Police Department.  Assistant District Attorney Kelly S. Burke is prosecuting the case.
The following felony charges have been brought against Deputy Sheriffs Luis Santamaria and Paul Wieber:
Assault under Color of Authority, with sentencing enhancements for personal infliction of great bodily injury and personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon;
Battery with Serious Bodily Injury, with a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon;
Assault with a Deadly Weapon, with a sentencing enhancement for personal infliction of great bodily injury.
Total: 3 Felony counts.
The defendants have bail set in the amount of 140k each and will surrender by end of day Wednesday, May 11.  An arraignment date has not been set.