Horrific bodycam footage shows the moment a California deputy puts a car owner who reported his vehicle missing a few days prior in a lethal chokehold, after mistaking him for a car thief.
Graphic video footage of the harrowing November 27 incident that killed 52-year-old David Glen Ward was released Friday as Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick announced he fired Deputy Charles Blount for his ‘extremely troubling’ conduct.
‘If you watched the body-worn camera video closely, you may be concerned about what you saw. So was I,’ Essick said. ‘The way Deputy Blount handles the entire situation is extremely troubling. As a result, I’ve served Deputy Blount a notice of termination.’
On November 2017 two sheriff’s deputies and two Sebastopol police officers pulled over David Glen Ward in his green Honda Civic.
On Friday the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office in California released video of a November 27 incident where Deputy Charles Blount (right) put 52-year-old David Glen Ward (left) in a violent chokehold that ended up killing him
On November 2017 two sheriff’s deputies and two Sebastopol police officers pulled over David Glen Ward in his green Honda Civic. Bodycam video shows cops apply lethal choke-hold on man.
In the footage Ward doesn’t get out of his vehicle and officers use force to try and remove him from the driver’s window
Ward is seen with a black left eye in the front seat with a frightened expression. In the harrowing footage Blount is seen smashing Ward’s head onto the side of his car several times, mistaking him for a carjacker
Ward had reported his vehicle missing just three days earlier saying a man pistol-whipped him then took his car.
‘It started when we received a call from the Santa Rosa police department that a car which had been stolen during carjacking several days prior had been located and was on the move,’ Sheriff Essick said. ‘Our deputies responded and tried to pull it over.’
When cops spotted the vehicle and tried to pull it over, Ward refused to stop.
Eventually the officers succeeded in pulling him over but he did not tell the officers if he was the car owner. It’s not clear why he ran away from the officers in the first place.
In the body camera footage cops surrounded the car with their guns drawn and struggled to get the driver’s seat door open.
Ward, who had a black left eye, sat in the front seat with a frightened expression.
He ended up rolling down his window to speak with officers and told them, ‘I’m the injured party in this. Why are you f**king harassing me all the time?’
Ward pictured screaming as his head was smashed against the car’s side
An officer tazed Ward in the front seat. He eventually fell unconscious in the struggle
Eventually officers got Ward on the ground and found him unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the hospital
Blount then grabbed his hand and tried to put him in handcuffs.
Moments later two deputies tried to pull Ward out of the car through the car window. Ward screamed in pain and said his legs hurt.
Blount tried to yank Ward out of the vehicle through the window and repeatedly smashed his head against the car.
Another officer then deployed a Taser while Blount placed Ward in a chokehold.
As Blount struggled with Ward, other officers broke into the car through the passenger side window. They dragged Ward out of the car and laid him on the ground. Officers were heard saying Ward was unconscious.
According to Ward’s half-sister Catherine Aguilera, he used drugs and had health issues that started 20 years ago when a drunk driver hit him as he was riding a motorcycle
During the arrest Ward became unresponsive. He died later in the hospital that night.
The coroner is reviewing the case and has not yet determined a cause of death.
In the clip an officer identified as Deputy Jax approached Blount and said, ‘This is, this is the owner of this car. that’s David Ward. He’s the victim, he’s the victim of the 215 [carjacking].’
‘He had no reason to run. But I was out with him earlier, like two hours ago at this house,’ Jax said. ‘No, the car wasn’t there at the time. Obviously, he somehow, he made contact with the guy and got it. But he was there two hours ago and this is him.’
‘Oh well,’ Blount responded.
Deputy Blount is currently on administrative leave as an investigation into the incident takes place.
On Friday Essick said that Blount violated several department policies including use of force, stopping high-risk vehicles, the hostage and barricade procedure and firearms policy as well as safety rules.
‘When I watched that video, it was an aberration. It did not meet the expectations of our sheriff’s department or my expectations,’ he said.
The conduct of each of the officers in that video will be reviewed. The investigation first started with Blount because ‘his actions were the most egregious.’
According to Ward’s half-sister Catherine Aguilera, he used drugs and had health issues that started 20 years ago when a drunk driver hit him as he was riding a motorcycle.
Some of his health issues include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a heart condition.
She said Ward had to carry an oxygen tank and use a walker or wheelchair.
‘This one person does not reflect the culture of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and does not represent the hard work of the men and women who work here,’ Essick said.