VIDEO: Deputy Fired After Suspect Dies Following Pursuit, Use Of Force

Sandy Malone

Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick released the bodycam and announced the termination of Deputy Charlie Blount on Friday.

Bloomfield, CA – A Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy has been fired for his role in the fatal takedown of a suspect who fled from police in a car that was reported stolen, but turned out to be the owner of the stolen car (video below).

The incident began on Nov. 27 when Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies were alerted to the presence of a suspected stolen vehicle by Santa Rosa police, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Little and two Sebastopol police officers tried to stop the green Honda Civic that had been reported stolen in an armed carjacking a few days earlier, The Press Democrat reported.

“It started when we received a call from the Santa Rosa police department that a car which had been stolen during carjacking several days prior had been located and was on the move,” Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick said in an introduction to the bodycam video. “Our deputies responded and tried to pull it over.”

Deputies learned after the incident that the car was being driven by its owner, 52-year-old David Ward, who had somehow recovered the stolen vehicle but not notified police about it, the Los Angeles Times reported.

But when the then-unidentified driver fled from police in the car, leading officers on a pursuit, according to The Press Democrat.

Deputies and officers chased the Honda and finally used a PIT maneuver and blocked it in when they hit a dead end in Bloomfield.

Bodycam video showed that Deputy Little opened his car door and pointed his weapon at the green Honda.

Then he ordered the driver to show him his hands and then to turn off the car, the video showed.

Ward failed to comply with the deputy’s commands and kept putting his hands back down where they couldn’t be seen.

“I don’t see any weapons, I’m going to move back to you guys,” Deputy Little announced in the video, and then backed up and took cover behind his vehicle with the other deputies and officers.

A moment later, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Charlie Blount arrived on the scene, and then the video showed that he and Deputy Little approached the driver’s door of the suspect vehicle.

Deputy Blount took up a position just behind the driver’s door and Deputy Little stood further away, in front of the driver.

Both deputies had their weapons pointed in Ward’s direction as Deputy Blount ordered the man to unlock his car door, the video showed.

Ward moved like he was unlocking his car door multiple times but did not actually do so.

He finally succeed in putting down the car window, the video showed.

“I can’t believe this, I’m the injured party,” Ward told the deputy in the video but never identified himself as the owner of the previously-stolen automobile.

“Don’t move your f--king hand,” Deputy Blount told Ward.

“Why are you harassing me all the time?” Ward asked.

Deputy Blount told Ward to give him his hands and began trying to pull the driver out of the car through the window, the video showed.

But Ward’s leg was stuck under the steering wheel and he continued to struggle with the deputies.

And then he bit Deputy Blount, the video showed.

“He bit me!” Deputy Blount said.

Deputy Little and Deputy Blount continued trying to pull Ward from the car with the help of Sebastopol officers.

Then Deputy Little cried out in pain, the video showed.

“Ah, motherf--ker he just bit me,” Deputy Little said.

But the law enforcement officers continued to try and pull Ward through the window of his vehicle.

The video showed one of the officers went around to the passenger side of the vehicle to try and help free the suspect.

Then the video showed Deputy Blount grabbed Ward by the hair and pulled his head out of the car window and then smashed his head against the doorframe as Deputy Little deployed a Taser at the same time.

Deputy Blount wrapped his arm around Ward’s neck in what the sheriff later described as an improper carotid hold, according to The Press Democrat.

The sheriff’s department called a carotid hold a controversial tactic that was rarely used by deputies.

The video showed that Deputy Blount kept Ward in the hold for more than a minute while he ordered the suspect to “stop moving,” The Press Democrat reported.

Another deputy arrived on the scene at that point and told Deputies Blount and Little that Ward was actually the victim of the carjacking.

“Then why did he run?” Deputy Little asked on the video.

“I don’t know why he ran,” the other deputy replied. “You have every, all this, it’s all legit.”

“Oh well,” Deputy Blount said.

Officers removed Ward from the car and put him face down on the ground to handcuff him.

Seconds later, one of the officers said Ward had stopped breathing.

“Start CPR on him,” Deputy Blount said in the video.

Ward was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Marin County Coroner’s Office will investigate the cause of death in the incident.

Sheriff Essick said he waited to release the bodycam video until investigators had an opportunity to interview all of the officers and deputies involved, and that two internal investigations had been completed.

“The way Deputy Blount handles the entire situation is extremely troubling. As a result, I’ve served Deputy Blount a notice of termination,” the sheriff announced at the end of the video.

Sheriff Essick has declined to say exact what policies Deputy Blount may have violated during the incident, The Press Democrat reported.

However, he said that Deputy Blount had not activated his bodycam at the scene.

“This shows that I have set high standards for the Sheriff’s Office and our employees,” Sheriff Essick said. “When they do not meet those high standards, I’m not afraid to call them out on it and take action, and I did.”

Deputy Blount has an opportunity to appeal his termination, The Press Democrat reported.

And law enforcement experts have said the case isn’t as cut-and-dried as Sheriff Essick has made it seem.

Ed Obayashi, a Plumas County sheriff’s deputy and use-of-force expert, said the bodycam doesn’t make it obvious that Deputy Blount’s actions were unreasonable and said other factors played into the incident, The Press Democrat reported.

“We don’t let dangerous individuals decide the speed and the method of how they are going to get out of the car,” Obayashi explained.

He also said that deputies had every reason to assume that Ward was the armed man who had stolen the car a few days earlier, according to The Press Democrat.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below:

Comments (115)
DNW
DNW

Good Lord, what a shame for everyone involved. Why didn't he just get out of the car and explain the situation like a rational person?

No. 1-24
Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#poposillies

flybynight
flybynight

Comply and go home? Or fight and become cemetery fertilizer. Seems like a no brainer.

LEO 2000
LEO 2000

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy0iZUjE5ZA He explains it... very simple.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Unusual for a Sheriff to throw a deputy under the bus. The Sheriff's comment sure sounded like pure politician.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

Not sure what was wrong with the owner, retarded or high, either way he was not acting rational, he was acting exactly like a perp. This could have been resolved very easily if the owner wasn’t acting so odd.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

It's good that this site finally recognizes the difference between wind choke and blood (carotid) choke.

And holding a blood choke on someone a minute after applying it is murder. Not manslaughter, because you don't "accidentally" rear naked choke someone.

Stanracer
Stanracer

The guy should have just pulled over. Simple.

blujn
blujn

I hope the charges get dropped. He didn't cooperate, that's why it escalated

Laughriot
Laughriot

Good, one less Californian fucking up the country.

Keeblertime
Keeblertime

Amazing how many copsuckers think shit like this is acceptable from PUBLIC FUCKING SERVANTS. They didn't protect anyone here, they didn't enforce any laws. They fucking killed someone and you dickbags think this kind of behavior is ok. I hope that pig goes to prison and gets fucked up.

flybynight
flybynight

You can be against inept trolls, pedophiles, and black hood rats all at the same time. It's easy. I do it every day. 🙄 Eye roll for you lowcom.

Forbidden
Forbidden

it was bad part on the deputy and suspect

Sam14
Sam14

The victim was disabled. Requiring the use of an oxygen tank and cane/wheel chair. I would imagine that the manner in which he was pursued was just as aggressive and unsettling as his treatment when he could not get out of his vehicle. Fear frequently does not lend one to logical action. The same could be said for power....

Marxest
Marxest

An "improper carotid choke"? Is that what were calling them now? There no longer called chokeholds? Whatever. The fact that it was used is absolutely horrible!!! At the very least, Deputy Blount showed depraved indifference to Mr Ward physical condition during and after the arrest. The "carotid choke" may have excessive force and the use of the taser sure didn't help Mr Ward. At the end of the day the video and the dead civilian Is enough to cost an officer his job. At the very least, Deputy Blount showed depraved indifference to Mr Ward physical condition during and after the arrest. The "carotid choke" may have excessive force and the use of the taser sure didn't help Mr Ward. At the end of the day the video and the dead civilian is enough to cost an officer his job.

Raidergsmith
Raidergsmith

Obviously I (we) don't know why he didn't comply (undet the influence of something?) but I don't believe the two hard head thrust into the A-pillar did anything good for his health. Hard to tell in the video, and most of us are not carotid experts but he didn't look right. Now I'm as Blue as they come, blue blood, blue family, just retired after 30 years and I'll admit, I can cuss more than any sailor, but I never like it when officers would cuss at suspects upon first contact like this. It makes the officer appear unprofessional and lacking their ability to control the situation. It shows fear and lack of possessing the good qualities of any officer. I get some subjects won't listen until you start cussing to get your point across but I believe when an officer starts out with, "Show me your fucking hands", etc., it increases tension and again it demonstrates to the perp that you're scared, inexperienced, etc., and they feed off of that. Again that's just my opinion. But yes, the politician acting as the Sheriff threw his deputy under the bus before a complete investigation could be conducted.

tfort
tfort

Now you guys have dropped to the level of crushing an innocent man’s skull driving his own car?

Citizen: Arm yourselves. Protect yourselves. You see the capabilities of today’s cops. When you are innocent and feel treated - you neutralize the treat. There is not a citizen in the USA that would find you responsible.

Remember, it’s either us or them.

Roman$
Roman$

It makes you wonder was there really a car jacking at all.

RunCop
RunCop

Comply and don’t die dumb fuk

flhrxs17
flhrxs17

well it's California and I bet the sheriff is a bleeding heart liberal who probably thinks the deputies should of offered the fleeing driver a Coke and a smile.. #CALEXIT

Micheal Sullivan
Micheal Sullivan

Indeed, you evidently have all day to surf the web and post leftest scribs. Ironic enough, if you have a job at all, it's probably a government job, direct or indirect, perhaps in academia.

tfort
tfort

Blount is a know liar. He is know for his brutality. Here is are some examples.

He made $167k. He will be broke by Valentine’s Day. 19 years - hopefully his pension is gone.

Blount was know as a liar and for brutality and SHERIFF MARK ESSICK kept him on the job.

In 2015, Schwaiger represented a woman named Celeste Moon, who Blount arrested in January of that year for jaywalking and resisting arrest, documents show. During testimony at a hearing in Moon’s criminal case, Blount said he did not use a neck hold on Moon.

“And then we played the video evidence for the court,” Schwaiger said. The video, taken by a bystander, showed Blount wrapping his arm around Moon’s neck and throwing her to the ground. “That matter was dismissed.”

Blount also used a carotid hold on a severely intoxicated man in 2015, police reports show. The man was initially unconscious, but woke up and became “uncooperative” when deputies tried to handcuff him. Then Blount used the hold.

blemons
blemons

As a politician said to the Chief of Police of a very large southern town as they went to a scene where someone was shot on the corner at 2:30 am. The Chief explained the victim was known to the police for a garden variety of crimes. When the Chief finished the politician said the deceased was "N K". The government official explained to the chief that NK was needed killing. He would never be productive to the society, would continue to commit crimes, and would have been a burdeon on the taxpayers. Would have ended up in prison anyway. And as he sat down in the car he said "and besides you cannot count on his vote".

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#banallchokeholds


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