Sheriff Napier releases statement on quadruple amputee arrest

Teen quadruple amputee wrestled to ground by Pima County deputy.
Teen quadruple amputee wrestled to ground by Pima County deputy.
Updated: Nov. 18, 2019 at 2:56 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Sheriff, Mark D. Napier, has released a statement regarding the video of the arrest of the quadruple amputee, which was brought to PCSD’s attention by KOLD News 13′s Bud Foster on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The following statement is from Sheriff Mark D. Napier:

Late in the afternoon on November 13 (Wednesday), the Pima County Sheriff ’s Department received a video from a local media outlet showing conduct by Deputy Van Santen in his handling of two juveniles, one of which was disabled. The conduct we observed on the video at face value is shocking, disturbing and personally saddening to watch. However, we understand that a short video segment may not represent the complete picture of any incident. This conduct does appear to be completely incongruent with that which we expect of our personnel. We notified the Office of Professional Standards of the incident that afternoon.

On November 14 (Thursday), the executive leadership team of the Pima County Sheriff ’s Department viewed the video in detail and reviewed the written report submitted by Deputy Van Santen. Closer examination did nothing to ameliorate the initial concerns we had over the conduct of our deputy. We wanted to ensure that our approach to this incident was thoughtful, thorough and in accord with both the due process rights of the deputy and county personnel policies.

On November 15 (Friday) morning, I authorized a criminal investigation into the conduct of Deputy Van Santen and ordered that he be placed on administrative leave. Upon conclusion of the criminal investigation, its findings will be presented to the Pima County Attorney’s Office for review to determine if any criminal charges are warranted. We will await that determination before taking any further action on the matter.

We share the public’s concern over what we viewed on the video. We do not believe what we observed is in any way representative of the manner our deputies serve the community. We will, as we should, respect the investigative process and make no further comment on this matter until the criminal investigation is concluded and a determination about the filing of criminal charges has been made.

The charges against the teen have since been dropped by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

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