San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

Man Beaten by Deputies After Horse Pursuit Charged

The California man who was beaten by San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies after stealing a horse is now behind bars.

Francis Pusok was due in court at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Bu when he didn't show up right away, the judge was about to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. Pusok arrived at the Victorville courthouse at 11 a.m.

His attorney, Jim Terrell, took the blame for his client's tardiness but wouldn't elaborate on how the 30-year-old nearly missed his arraignment.

"Through my fault he's late, not Mr. Pusok's," Terrell said.

In court Pusok pleaded not guilty to several criminal charges, including evading arrest in his April 9 three-hour long police pursuit that included a stolen horse.

The chase ended when Pusok was beaten by San Bernardino County Sheriffs deputies in an incident caught on camera from NewsChopper4.

Ten deputies are being investigated for the beating.

Pusok and his pregnant girlfriend Jolene Bindner were formally charged together on allegations that they were in possession of three stolen trailers.

The judge allowed Bindner to remain free because of her pregnancy. But prosecutors asked the judge to raise Pusok's bail from $100,000 to $575,000.

The judge set it at $450,000. Pusok's attorney called it a political move because Pusok was paid $650,000 by the county to prevent lawsuits in the beating case.

"It's retaliatory because he received some money," Terrell said.

Since his bail had been raised Pusok was taken into custody. Prosecutor Shannon Faherty said what happened in court wasn't about retaliation it was about the law.

"This is completely independent from any other case Mr. Pusok has and this is completely and totally separate," Faherty said.

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