California horse fugitive beaten by sheriffs gets $650,000 payout

Still from video shot by NBC4 Los Angeles (YouTube)
The California man beaten by sheriff’s deputies after a three-hour desert pursuit will be paid $650,000, the San Bernardino County Board has decided, adding the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing.

Calling the decision a “fair outcome for everyone involved, including taxpayers,” board Chairman James Ramos said the settlement’s sole purpose was to “avoid the costs involved in litigation.”

Francis J. Pusok, 30, led the San Bernardino deputies on a 3-hour car, foot and horse chase through the desert on April 9. The final moments of the chase were caught by a news crew in a helicopter, and showed eleven deputies kicking, punching and hitting Pusok with batons.

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The FBI is conducting a civil rights inquiry in the case, while the deputies involved face a disciplinary investigation and possibly a criminal probe. Pusok was charged with possessing stolen property, reckless driving, theft of a horse, and felony evading.