Sonoma County Sheriff releases new footage of Graton man’s arrest
Sonoma County deputies investigating a Graton man they were told pointed a gun at a friend and his wife Saturday afternoon approached him with their guns and electro-shock weapons drawn, shouting orders that he step forward with arms raised and get on the ground, newly released body-worn camera footage shows.
The Sheriff’s Office video provides additional context in the arrest of Jason Anglero-Wyrick, 35, who was taken into custody after deputies stunned him with their electro-shock weapons and set loose a police dog to subdue him after he refused to follow their orders, Sonoma County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Juan Valencia said.
The annotated video was posted on the department’s Facebook page after 10:20 p.m Tuesday. It is one of several videos put together by the Sheriff’s Office in recent months in light of a state law requiring agencies to disclose body-worn camera footage in the wake of certain critical incidents involving use of force.
The new footage came several hours after The Press Democrat published a story that included details from a witness video that captured part of the arrest and was posted onto YouTube. The footage stirred some concern among law enforcement watchdogs and others critical about the use of force in the arrest, including the deployment of the police dog.
But the footage released late Tuesday “had the clearest picture of the incident,” Valencia said.
It does not include additional body-worn camera video that captured the agency’s initial contact with the man who reported Anglero-Wyrick. The Sheriff’s Office does not intend to publish that footage because it did not appear to shed light on the incident, Valencia said.
“We don’t want to persuade people, we want to give people all the facts and let them make their own assumptions,” Valencia said. Anglero-Wyrick “had every opportunity to comply with the deputies’ commands and get on the ground. We can only control our actions and react to their actions.”
But Jerry Threet, Sonoma County’s former law enforcement auditor who resigned from his position more than a year ago, questioned whether Anglero-Wyrick posed a threat to the deputies, as reported by the Sheriff’s Office in the community briefing video and in a press release published Monday that detailed the arrest.
He noted that both Anglero-Wyrick and Naustachia Green, a woman who was also arrested in the incident, kept their hands in the air throughout the encounter. Green was shown standing in front of Anglero-Wyrick as deputies tried to detain him.
The Sheriff’s Office said deputies believed Anglero-Wyrick was possibly armed, and ordered the closure of nearby streets when they approached the home.
“Certainly, they had great reason to be cautious and make sure there was no threat to them, but that doesn’t mean that once they got there and there was no threat presented, that they had a justification for escalating as quickly as they did,” Threet said.
Threet also voiced concern that the agency was not releasing all of its video footage from the incident.
Comments posted by the Sheriff’s Office to its Facebook page under its initial account of the incident also were troubling given the injuries sustained by the suspect in the arrest, Threet said. The comments suggested the police dog used to subdue Anglero-Wyrick deserved a treat.