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Controversy Continues Over Claims Of Excessive Force by Santa Barbara Police In DUI Arrest

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 4:06pm


Santa Barbara’s Police Chief says the controversial arrest of a man on D-U-I charges in which police struck him multiple times was handled properly, considering the circumstances, but the man’s attorney is calling for the release of the videotape of the incident.

Tony DeNunzio was stopped by a Santa Barbara police officer last Friday night at Loreto Plaza.  The officer said the Santa Barbara man refused to follow orders to stay in his truck, tried to leave the scene, and then resisted arrest.  The man was struck, and tasered as one officer, and then others say they were trying to subdue the 50 year old man.

But, some witnesses claim excessive force was used, and that DeNunzio was trying to surrender.

Today, Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez said after reviewing a video from the dash cam of the patrol car, the handling of the incident was within guidelines, because the man refused orders to surrender.

Denuzio was not seriously injured.  He  was arrested on a DUI charge, for resisting arrest, for driving without a license, and for parole issues.  Police say a copy of the video was turned over to the DA’s officer for review.

The man’s attorney, Darryl Genis, inferred in own press release that the video doesn’t support police accounts.  Genis said if it did, police would have released it, and he called on the chief to make the video public.


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