A man beaten and arrested by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies in San Francisco early Thursday remains hospitalized and in custody of that department, a sheriff’s spokesman says, correcting reports that Stanislav Petrov had been released from San Francisco General Hospital and was jailed in the East Bay.

Olga Petrova, who says she is Petrov’s mother, contacted KQED Saturday trying to locate her son.

“I could picture him being in a coma or brain-dead or fully physically disabled for the rest of his life,” she wrote in an email. “After they methodically beat him on his head, I am really terrified to learn about his current state.”

Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods said after visiting Petrov at San Francisco General on Sunday that he suffered multiple lacerations to the back of his head but was alert and talking. Woods said both of Petrov’s arms were “crushed” in the beating.

“From his elbow through his hands are swollen,” Woods said. “It looks like he has several broken bones in both of his hands or arm areas.”

Petrov faces felony charges for ramming a squad car and injuring a deputy, then leading a high-speed chase to San Francisco. Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said Petrov is also being held on suspicion of having a loaded firearm in the stolen vehicle he was driving, possession of methamphetamine and multiple hit-and-runs.

His arrest was captured on video provided to the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, which published it Friday.

Two deputies who caught up to Petrov near the corner of Stevenson Street and Clinton Park in San Francisco’s Mission District are facing an internal investigation.

One is shown tackling Petrov after he rammed into a parked car and ran from the vehicle. Then he and his partner are seen beating Petrov on the head, arms, legs and torso with batons. The beating went on for an indeterminate amount of time — the video skips approximately every 10 seconds — and continued even after other officers arrived on the scene.

Petrov is heard crying out in pain at several points in the recording.

“The video raises concern, and we opened the investigation,” Kelly said, adding that the department is considering whether to place the deputies on administrative leave or reassign them while the probe plays out. He said the incident also raises a jurisdictional issue because it happened in San Francisco.

“There’s a lot of things we’re doing internally right now trying to deal with this,” he said.

The department is also seeking additional video of the incident. Kelly confirmed that Alameda County sheriff’s deputies are equipped with body cameras, but he was unsure if the arrest was recorded by the devices. The department’s policy does not require deputies to turn them on.

“I guess you’d call it discretionary on behalf of the officer,” he said, “discretionary but highly encouraged.”

The deputies have not returned to work since the press brought the video to the attention of the department, Kelly said. The deputies, both “tenured” and having served in the department for several years, have not been publicly identified.

Kelly said the department will release their names at some point, but right now there is a concern for their safety.

“If you look on social media, there’s a lot of threats that have been made against them — pretty vulgar threats,” he said. “We have to worry about their safety, in addition to Mr. Petrov in the hospital, too. We don’t want people showing up there, protesters showing up there and causing a whole bunch of problems.”

Public Defender Woods said Saturday that he spent much of the day trying to locate Petrov, but was unsuccessful. He called the force depicted in the video “insane.”

“I was shocked, outraged and disgusted,” he said. “I counted over 30 baton strikes. I’m not sure what facts would justify that sort of brutal beating.”

Woods said he is trying to identify the deputies because the incident will likely impact other cases they’ve handled. He said the force they used raises “an issue of credibility.”

“I don’t plan on letting this go at all,” he said. “I think it’s just disgusting. The guy is clearly about to give up. … You hear smack, smack, smack. He’s yelling ‘Stop!’ It’s just terrible.”

Reached by phone Saturday, Olga Petrova said the incident had shaken her trust in law enforcement.

“It’s gone,” she said. “Those people, I want them. I want to have a lawsuit. I want them to pay not from American taxpayers. I want them to pay from their pension funds. I want them to pay for how they tried to kill him and what they have done to me.”

Petrova said she emigrated with her son, who she calls “Stas,” from Ukraine to San Francisco 18 years ago. She said her son, now 29, has led a difficult life — diagnosed with multiple mental disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. She said he had suffered several concussions in the past.

“He was diagnosed in his early childhood,” she said. “He was born a blue baby and he was fighting for his development.”

Petrova said Petrov was prescribed Ritalin as a child, which she believes led him to use methamphetamines as an adult.

“He is my life,” Petrova said. “When we have poor, misfortunate, sick kids, we probably feel more compassion.”

Her recent contact with her son has been intermittent, she said, and the last time she saw him was about two months ago after she’d been searching for a while.

“I kissed him promptly and I asked him, ‘Stas, please be careful, I don’t know what is going on with you. Please be careful, I am exhausted, I can’t stand these sleepless nights,’ ” she said.

Petrova said her son is often “unpredictable,” and he struggles with finishing complicated tasks. She again lost touch with him and was shocked when she saw him being tackled and beaten on television.

“People who know him tell me, ‘He loves you to death,’ ” Petrova said. “It’s a very painful kind of love.”

This post was updated to correct Petrov’s age, originally reported as 28. Petrov is 29 years old.

  • chinuex

    I do not up hold the suspect’s alleged crime, HOWEVER, the officer’s use of excessive force AFTER he surrendered shows that their intention was to TEACH HIM A LESSON! FIRE BOTH OF THEM!

  • DocJohnson

    He was clearly resisting arrest and would not LAY DOWN as they repeatedly told him. Expect the cop haters to go shoot some innocent cop in the head now. Typical for the lazy, indigent bums in this country.

    • nunyabizness71

      Hey doc, see if you could just lay there while the cops beat the sh*t out of you with batons… after the cop tackled him he could have cuffed him and it would have been over, but they were having too much fun beating him…

    • Jane

      he was clearly surrendering and then lying on the ground while they beat the life out of him. What kind of alternate universe are you living in,

    • Nadia

      He is a mentally disabled guy, needing care, including medical attention. What he became, is a result of the flawed health care system for those poor and disabled people.

  • Conte435

    The victims white ..so move along nothing to see here… If he had been black the cops would have been fired and if not fired outright placed on leave without pay.

    Hope the victim sues the shiz out the cops and that department .

  • Byard Pidgeon

    Farther north, and a lighter shade of Rodney King. Where in hell do they find these so called law enforcement officers?

  • hail the queen

    Yes, the beating could of ended by cuffing him reading his rights, arresting him. However, he had put the cops through hell trying to run away from them. He could of easily been shot by one of the many cops too. So I say, hell with it all! He is a violent felon, a druggie, and was erratically driving a heavy piece of machinery which could of easily killed any one human being that was in the way. I do not give a dam that he is suffering! Get the idiot off the streets and book him for several years.

    • Jane

      OMG listen to yourself… not only justifying horrendous police brutality but also nonchalantly accepting that police often randomly shoot people when they dont need to as well. There is NO excuse for the vicious beating they gave that man – forget about who he was – look at who THEY are – those 2 deputies are clearly either psychotic or taking drugs, they should not be on the streets at all let alone in positions of authority

      • hail the queen

        listen to yourself Jane. I do not agree with you. U apparently agree that it was ok for him to dive a 2 ton piece of machine and put lives in danger as well as. Time will tell what the law intends to do about. U and the rest can rant all you want. I do not have much sympathy for someone who didn’t give a dam about anyone else’s life through his behavior. So cut the whining. This cop stuff has been going on for years . We just happen to have easy recording opps now. If he had been walking and cops randomly started to harass and beat him I would be more concerned. But that was not the case.

      • hail the queen

        And Jane, yes, the police could of shot him in the foot! Clearly they would of had the right to. Or are you against that too? And his diagnosis his mom whines about is a lame excuse. Many people have that diagnosis and they are not out there in public behaving like he is.

    • nunyabizness71

      It is not the cops job to teach this guy a lesson.

  • hail the queen

    lets celebrate the criminal here!! Poor thing. He didn’t need a beating he just drove a 2 ton piece of machinery through one of the most populated areas of California, he had a fire arm in his car, oh well, who cares. Poor thing he needed that fire arm to protect himself because he has drugs on him and he is putting the police into a high speed chase. Poor guy. You know, do not arrest him either. Let him go. He did nothing to deserve anything not even an arrest. I am so sick of this crap. How do you people expect the police to police? If you do not like what they do then become one. Or if you are into doing illegal behavior then make dam sure you are not caught.

Author

Alex Emslie

Alex Emslie is a news reporter focused on criminal justice policy, policing and legal issues. He left Colorado and a career as a carpenter in 2008 to study journalism at community college in San Francisco. He then graduated from San Francisco State University's journalism program with a minor in criminal justice studies. Emslie contributed to several Bay Area newspapers and online news outlets before joining KQED in 2013. He loves multimedia reporting, publishing source documents and transparency. He can be reached at aemslie@kqed.org and followed via @SFNewsReporter.

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