Stanislaus Sheriff’s Deputy On Leave after Video of Violent Arrest Surfaces

Warning: Video below contains violence that some viewers may find disturbing.

MODESTO -- A Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy was put on leave after video of him repeatedly punching a man surfaced on YouTube this week.

The arrest happened on Nov. 10 after investigators say the man was running dangerously into the street near the busy Crows Landing and Hatch Road intersection.

The video shows several deputies and Modesto Police officers on top of the man, who appears to be resisting. One deputy, identified as Taylor Knight, a 3-year veteran of the department, punches him in the head several times.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson declined an interview request from FOX40 Friday, but spoke with the Modesto Bee on Thursday about the incident. He said the man, who was not identified, is a transient who has had run-ins with the law before and after being taken to the hospital for what the sheriff said was a superficial forehead abrasion, the sheriff released him from custody on a misdemeanor obstructing a police officer charge.

As for the deputy seen throwing punches, Christianson said he was placed on leave as the sheriff's department sorts through whether is actions crossed a line.

Christianson told The Bee:

"I am disappointed and concerned but I want the public to know that we are going to thoroughly investigate the incident to find out what happened and we will take the appropriate actions necessary once we have all the facts. We are looking at all circumstances leading up to the contact with the individual who was arrested and what happened or what you see happening in that video."

The sheriff added that even though there is no audio in the video, other deputies and officers confronted Knight during the incident and the sheriff was notified of the incident before seeing the video a few days later. He added that because it is an ongoing investigation, he could not comment on what was said to Knight.