No charges for Pima County deputy who arrested teenage quadruple amputee

Deputy Manuel Van Santen was investigated for incident at Tucson-area group home
Updated: Mar. 10, 2020 at 2:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The deputy who arrested a 15-year-old quadruple amputee late last year won’t face criminal charges.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday, March 10, it won’t file excessive use of force charges against Deputy Manuel Van Santen.

Below is a copy of the report the PCAO sent to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, explaining the decision.

An explosive video, first obtained by KOLD News 13, shows Van Santen’s run-in with the teen at a group home in the Tucson area on Sept. 26, 2019.

The video, which can be watched below, went viral and made news around the world.

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Below is raw video from the incident. It contains foul language some viewers may find offensive.

Van Santen and others were called to the home following a disturbance.

The teen, in the group home after being abandoned by his family, apparently knocked over a garbage can and verbally threatened a worker.

Van Santen can been seen wrestling the teen to the floor and handcuffing him, as the teen is heard shouting and swearing.

The charges against the teen were dropped by Nov. 14, one day after KOLD News 13 released the video.

Van Santen, an 11-year veteran of the department, was identified as the deputy in the video one day later.

On Nov. 18, Sheriff Mark Napier released a statement and said the department was investigating the incident.

On Nov. 22, Van Santen’s attorney hosted a news conference and released a statement that blasted the group home as a “place that is notorious for chaos and poor supervision of the residents.”

On Dec. 27, KOLD News 13 learned the county had been dealing with a spike in deputy responses to the group home.

Deputies were called to the Vision Quest facility on River Road twice in 2018 and nearly 150 times in 2019.

On Jan. 31, 2020, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department finished its investigation into the incident and sent its report to the attorney’s office. KOLD News 13 has been asking the attorney’s office for its decision since.

Joel Feinman, the director of the Pima County Public Defender Office, has said to his knowledge, the county attorney’s office has never returned a charge of excessive use of force against a deputy.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.