Charges Filed Against Man Beaten by Deputies After Horse Pursuit

The Southern California man who was beaten by sheriff's deputies at the end of a horseback pursuit filmed exclusively by NBC4 has been charged with multiple counts in connection with the pursuit.

Apple Valley resident Francis Pusok, 30, would face up to 19 years and 4 months in prison if convicted of the 14 charges listed in the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office complaint, released Thursday.

Ten deputies were placed on administrative leave as the beating, filmed by NewsChopper4 on April 9, is being investigated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and FBI.

"I assure you that if there's any criminal wrongdoing on the part of any of our deputy sheriffs or any policy violations, we will take action," Sheriff John McMahon said soon after the incident.

The charges filed against Pusok include allegedly evading an officer in a motor vehicle, stealing a horse and cruelly overriding it and being under the influence of marijuana and amphetamine. Three charges of receiving stolen property were filed against Pusok and Jolene Bindner, his longtime girlfriend.

Pusok is out of jail on a $100,000 bond. He is scheduled for arraignment June 16.

Pusok settled with the County of San Bernardino for $650,000 earlier this month, avoiding litigation.

"I thought I was being beaten to death," said Pusok, who suffered wounds to his head, ribs, back, face, neck and legs. "I was wondering, 'When is it going to stop?'"

Contact Us