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Santa Barbara Police To Discuss Controversial Arrest, Release Video Of Incident

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:29am

Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez is planning to hold a news conference Friday morning, to discuss the controversial arrest of a man on DUI charges in October, during which some witnesses claimed police used excessive force.

Tony Denunzio was pulled over by a Santa Barbara Police officer October 21st, after the officer felt the man was driving irregularly.  During the incident in Loreto Plaza, police say the man refused orders to stay in his truck, and tried to leave the scene.  There was an altercation, with officers hitting, and tasering Denunzio.

The District Attorney’s office conducted an investigation, and said that some of the more than dozen witnesses say the man wasn’t complying with officers, while others said he did comply, and that he was the victim of excessive force.

Because of conflicting witness accounts, the DA’s office says it won’t file resisiting arrest charges against the man, or excessive force charges against officers.  Denunzio is still facing a DUI charge, as well as other counts. 

Police say they will show the video of the incident taken with the police car’s dash camera to the media.

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