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Video Shows California Deputy Slamming Man’s Head Into His Own Car After Mistakenly Suspecting Him Of Stealing It, Leading To Man’s Death

Sonoma Sheriff / YouTube

A new video has been released by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s department after a deputy slammed a man’s head against his car and another deputy tased him, which led to the man’s death.

The primary deputy involved in the altercation, Deputy Charlie Blount, will be fired from his position based on the footage from a body cam worn by another deputy.

According to Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick:

“The way Deputy Blount handles the entire situation is extremely troubling. As a result, I have served Deputy Blount a notice of termination.” 

You can watch the video here, though viewer discretion is advised: 

The civilian involved, David Glen Ward, reported his car as stolen three days prior to the altercation. He ended up finding his car and taking it back on his own, but did not share this update with the law enforcement.

When the deputies saw the car on the road, they didn’t realize that Ward was driving his own car, and assumed they had discovered the car thief.

It’s unclear why, but when they attempted arrest, Ward fled the scene in his car, which led to a pursuit and arrest.

Deputy Jason Little was wearing a body cam, which showed the car chase, as well as his attempt to pull Ward over during the chase. He also witnessed the altercation between Ward and Blount, which was included in the resulting video.

After a five-mile chase, the deputies were able to pull Ward over.

There were repeated demands for Ward to keep his hands visible, as well as to unlock the driver’s side door and get out of the car.

Ward resisted, claiming he had done nothing wrong.

Ward said: 

“I can’t believe this. I’m the injured party in this. Why are you f***ing harassing me all the time?”

In response, he was removed from the car. Blount also slammed Ward’s head against the door frame of his car and held him in a sleeper hold. Another deputy tased Ward.

As the arrest continued, another deputy, Deputy Nick Jax, appeared and stated that this was not the car-jacker, but actually the car owner, David Ward.

Unconscious and not breathing, the deputies gave Ward CPR and then delivered him to the hospital. He was declared dead at the hospital.

The Marin County Coroner’s Office continues to investigate.

Ward had pre-existing health conditions, according to his family, including a heart condition, weakness and trouble walking. They found it difficult to believe he could be aggressive enough to partake in a car chase as intense as this one.

However Blount’s attorney, Harry Stern, claimed his client was not responsible for Ward’s death: 

“Frankly, Mr. Ward caused his own death by inexplicably taking a number of bizarre actions that confirmed in the deputies’ minds that he was an armed car-jacker, rather than the victim of that crime.”

“It is my understanding that the medical evidence will show that Mr. Ward had a serious pre-existing condition and had methamphetamine in his system – most significantly, there were no indications of trauma to his neck.” 

But Twitter had a very different opinion regarding Blount’s role.

As the Marin County Coroner’s Office continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding Ward’s death. Any future action against Blount will depend on the coroner’s findings.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.