Former Alameda County deputies get plea deals for beating San Francisco man

Two former Alameda County sheriff’s deputies charged in the 2015 brutal beating of a robbery suspect accepted plea deals from San Francisco prosecutors last year.

The ex-deputies, 14-year veteran training officer Luis Santamaria and 3-year veteran Paul Wieber, who was undergoing field training, quietly struck the agreements under former District Attorney Chesa Boudin. The deal was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

As part of the agreement, Santamaria was assigned to a mental health diversion program and upon successful completion, the case will not move forward.

The case centered on the beating of Stanislov Petrov in a San Francisco alley after a chase from Alameda County. Surveillance footage recorded the deputies repeatedly striking Petrov.

Wieber on the other hand pleaded guilty last December to one felony count of assault by a public officer. He was offered deferred entry of judgment. If he avoids getting arrested the felony charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Boudin, who was recalled in June, had pledged to hold police officers to account for accusations of misconduct but knew there would be hurdles with prosecuting those types of cases.

After losing a separate police brutality case against a San Francisco officer earlier this year, Boudin told the Chronicle, “Doing justice does not mean only bringing those cases where you have slam-dunk opportunity to win.” He pointed to his 2019 campaign promise that his office “would be willing to take risks and bring difficult cases where the evidence led us to believe we can prove.”

The case changed hands over the years after it was initially charged by former DA George Gascon in 2016, but the charges were quietly dropped by Boudin in 2020 over a myriad of reasons, including technical issues, the COVID pandemic, and the defenders waiving their rights to a speedy trial.

However, in 2021 Boudin refiled charges against the two deputies for the beating of robbery suspect Stanislov Petrov, which was captured on surveillance video from an alleyway.

Prosecutors said Santamaria and Wieber pursued Petrov in a high-speed chase from Alameda County, across the Bay Bridge, and onto the streets of San Francisco. Prosecutors said deputies were chasing Petrov because they thought he stole a Mercedes.

The chase ended in Stevenson Alley, where the deputies chased Petrov on foot.

As Petrov slowed down and raised his hands to surrender, prosecutors said Santamaria and Wieber tackled him on street and beat him with their fists and batons.

A private surveillance camera captured the beating, showing the deputies striking Petrov over 30 times on his head, hands, body, and legs with their batons.

Petrov suffered major lacerations to his head and multiple broken bones.

He settled with Alameda County for $5.5 million in 2017.

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