Yuba County Sheriff’s Deputy Nelson Magana has been placed on leave while charges against him of assault and threatening a witness are investigated.
Magana, 31, was arrested by Chico Police in the early morning hours Tuesday, March 18.
The incident allegedly took place in a restaurant on Broadway in Chico, during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
“It was just to the point where I knew that if (the victim) got hit any more, he’d probably have some serious or lifelong injuries. And (Magana) was striking him the ground with some type of kicks,” restaurant manager Ryan Putney said.
He says it was a fight that was pretty one-sided.
“The victim seemed highly intoxicated. During the whole situation, it seems like he was kind of unaware of what the issue was,” Putney said.
Putney said the two men had come inside together, but were asked to leave. Only they didn’t leave. Instead, one man beat the other severely by the restrooms on the way out.
“I heard the scream and by the time I came around the corner, they were down there,” Puntey said, pointing to the landing of the staircase that leads to bathrooms shared by Burgers and Brew, and the restaurant Crush.
Chico Police have identified the man they arrested as Magana. Magana, a deputy with the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office, won the county’s Peace Officer of the Year award in 2010.
The Sheriff notes that arrests Magana helped with account for 42 convictions with gang enhancements, and 211 years of sentences handed out plus 2 life sentences.
FOX40 tried to speak with Magana about his arrest, but no one answered at his home.
Putney says the man he stopped in the middle of a beat down that night had plenty of answers for him.
“(He) generally threatened myself and one of my other staff members, and I guess the person who followed him, he said he was going to hurt him or cause him bodily harm if he snitched on him,” Putney said.