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This is not a Rodney King level event: the torture is short duration and low level. But the perpetrator is a Captain of the Sheriff Department of one of the most corrupt counties in all California in league with those most corrupt around the nation.
Dirt Bike Rider Jason Allen Arrona “hard braked” his motorcycle as soon as he realized the people standing on the side of the road were Sheriff personnel. He overbraked the front wheel as he attempted to avoid them and ended up crashing his bike and rotating the bike 180 degrees to rest pointing towards the path he traveled.
Arrona was arrested and tortured on the scene March 13, 2013 by Yucca Valley Police (Sheriff) Captain Richard Boswell as Yucca Valley Lt. Brad Toms restrained Arrona. (Notably, Lt. Toms may not have been aware of the worst arm wrenching as he was looking North when that occurred.
I. INDEPENDENT EYEWITNESS STATEMENTS CONTRADICT ALLEGATIONS BY CAPTAIN BOSWELL
Eyewitness Robert Dean Nelson states adamantly that Jason Allen Arrona was never in proximity to any person until he had fallen off his “dirt bike” motorcycle near Captain Boswell.
Nelson also states Arrona did not assault or batter anyone and that he told a short Deputy as such at the scene during an interview of witnesses.
Robert Dean Nelson’s letter to the editor of the Hi-Desert Star newspaper posted to its website on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 11:15 pm, and published in the April 17, 2013 print edition states:
“I want to be sure that the Town Council is aware of the events that occurred when Mr. Nuaimi, the deputy town manager, captain and lieutenant visited me to discuss the very dangerous traffic on my road, especially:
• The claim by the captain that an off-roader assaulted him that day in front of my home. (The off-roader was charged and convicted of battery on a police officer.)
• The fact that, as a witness, I was asked for a statement and because I did not support the claim that there was an assault, I was berated by the captain and then harassed and intimidated by the captain because I had recorded portions of the incident.”
II. EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE UNDISCLOSED BY PROSECUTION
Linda Lee Drive — 3/13/2013 — #1 < —— Boswell grabs hair, yanks head, slams head to ground, then wrenches victims arm. Victim is at all times restrained and and compliant.
See preliminary analysis of video #1 below.
Furthermore, the video is complete unto itself and no contextualization of the events is needed to conclude that it depicts torture. It is simply irrelevant what occurred leading up to this sequence, and it is irrelevant what Arrona did to cause the officers to touch him.
Nothing that could have happened before the first frame of this video can excuse or warrant Boswell’s actions seen on the video clip.
While Captain Boswell is heard shouting “you assaulted me, you idiot” the videographer adamantly states and has published a Letter to the Editor (http://www.hidesertstar.com/opinion/article_282f43d6-a726-11e2-9e9e-0019bb2963f4.html) stating that no assault occurred. He also states the arrestee was not near the officers before they pounced on him and committed no action of assault whatsoever.
Linda Lee Drive — 3-13-2013 — #2 <—- Captain Boswell harassing Robert Dean Nelson for recording audio and video of event.
Linda Lee Drive — 3/13/2013 — #3
III. PARTIAL ANALYSIS OF VIDEO #1
Video Frame rate is reported by the viewing application to be 30 Frames per second but that has not been verified by independent instrument. The capture camera is not known nor examined. Processing and enhancement of audio and video is not complete at the time of this report.
CONTEXT BEFORE VIDEO FIRST FRAME:
1. According to eyewitness and videographer Robert Dean Nelson: a) Jason Arrona rode north on his motorcycle on dirt road Linda Lee Avenue, Yucca Valley, CA at about 3:45 PM March 13, 2013. b) When Arrona was first seen the following people were standing on the side of Linda Lee: Robert Dean Nelson, Captain Richard Boswell, Lt. Toms, Town Manager Mark Nuaimi, and Deputy Town Manager Shane Stueckle.
2. Hearsay accounts conflict as to what next occurred. (As to reading the video, they are irrelevant.)
News reports indicate Mr. Arrona attempted to use his motorcycle to run over “a deputy”. Mr. Arrona was charged with battery on a police officer and after 28 days in isolated confinement pled guilty. However, Arrona was not aware videos existed, and he did not see an attorney until a plea deal was offered upon arrival at court.
Mr. Nelson has stated no such assault or battery occurred, that he witnessed the entire event and had clear vision, and that Mr. Arrona nor his motorcycle were anywhere near anyone before the Yucca Valley police pounced on Arrona after Arrona had fallen off his dirt bike and was on the ground.
3. Mr. Nelson claims Arrona lost control of his motorcycle, then fell off and hit the ground hard.
START OF VIDEO:
4. Jason Arrona is face down on the unpaved ground.
5. A “dirt bike” style motorcycle lays about 6 to 10 feet farther away than is Arrona.
6. Arrona is motionless. Neither his legs nor arms nor head are moving.
7. Lt. Toms’ has his knee and left hand on Arrona’s back.
8. Captain Boswell’s left forearm is definitely vertical and at Arrona’s mid-back.
9. The perspective of the camera is such that at the start of the video, Boswell’s left arm is occluded from view by Boswell’s left leg. Nevertheless, a white mass consistent with Boswell’s left hand is visible directly vertically below Boswell’s left knee. (Preliminary analysis suggests this white mass is Boswell’s hand grasping Arrona’s right hand but more thorough processing is needed to be certain.)
11. Captain Boswell’s right hand is used to reach for and grasp Arrona’s hair.
12. (T 00:00:66 ) Boswell uses that grasp on the hair to yank Arrona’s head up, thus flexing Arrona’s neck.
13. (T 00:00:93) Apex of first lift of Arrona’s head.
14. Boswell then with a jerking motioning pushes Arrona’s head toward the dirt ground. (The unenhanced image of Arrona’s head bouncing does not allow a conclusion that Arrona’s head actually hits the ground, however, see following paragraphs about the simultaneous movement of Arrona’s leg and foot at this moment.)
AFTER ONE SECOND OF VIDEO:
15. (T 00:01:03 ) Downward motion of Arrona’s head stops. Mostly likely Arrona’s face impacted the ground. Boswell’s shoving of Arrona’s head causes Arrona’s head to either impact the ground or Boswell begins to yank the head up again.
16. (T 00:01.13) About 2 frames probably less than 1/15th of a second after the first shove of the head towards the ground, Arrona’s left foot and leg start to move and then (T 00:01.16) Arrona lifts his left foot and the left shoetoe off the ground and upward no more than 6 inches.
17. (T 00:01:20) Lt. Toms’ lifts his left hand off Arrona to retrieve his cell phone to make a call. (He later contacts “Beverly”. Notably, it appears Lt. Toms is looking at the ground in front of him and then looking North into the distance as Captain Boswell continues to bash Arronas head and wrenching Arrona’s arm. Lt. Toms’ likely saw the first head bash, but likely did not see the rest of the bashing—he appears concentrated on dialing the phone.
18. (T00:01:62) The audio has not yet been fully processed, so recognition of speech is problematic. However Arrona appears to utter “XXX idea”, probably “No idea” or “I had no idea”.
19. (T 00:01:82) Boswell utters, “XXX assaulted me you idiot”, probably “You just assaulted me you idiot”.
20. (T 00:01.46) Just after the fastest pushing of Arrona’s head and within 1/30th of second before Arrona’s left toe returns to the ground, a frame shows four significant elements in particular:
a. A fraction of Toms’ left hand (probably knuckles) near Arrona’s midback (it is the whitish mass just left of Boswell’s left knee joint)
b. Toms’ right hand located in the “flattened” 2 dimensional image just below Boswell’s testicles (but in fact Toms’ hand is about 30 inches farther away from the camera than is Boswell’s crotch.),
c. Boswell’s right hand grasping Arrona’s hair, and,
d. likely Boswell’s left hand grasping Arrona’s right hand
21. (Conclusion: Arrona’s leg jerk is a reaction to the pain of having his head strike the ground.)
22. Lt. Toms’ has his knee and right hand on Arrona’s back.
23. Boswell then releases Arrona’s hair.
AFTER SECOND FOUR
24. Boswell’s right hand is then used to reach back and grab Arrona’s right wrist which was near Arrona’s mid-back.
26. When Boswell’s grasp on Arrona’s right wrist is firm, Boswell then pulls Arrona’s right arm UP high and TOWARDS Arrona’s head, thereby maximizing torsion between Arrona’s arm humerus and scapula of his shoulder.
28. (T00:05.00) Arrona’s right chest begins to separate from the ground as Boswell apparently lifts Arrona’s humerus vectoring towards zenith.
29. (T 00:05.01-2) Arrona’s starts to move his legs,
30. (T 00.05.10) At the very moment of maximum torsion, Arrona starts to lift both legs high into the air.
31. (T 00:05.26) Both shoetoes are off the ground vectoring upward. His legs start to flay about.
32. (T 00:05.30) Arrona yelps as if in pain and continues yelping.
IV. COMMENT ABOUT ACTIONS IN VIDEO
Throughout the video #1 sequence, Jason Allen Arrona is restrained, compliant, and does not move except at the points in time that Captain Boswell is forcibly manipulating Arrona’s head and neck, and Arrona’s arm in such a way as the preponderance of the evidence shows would cause Arrona great pain and bodily injury.
Nothing occurring before the capture of the first frame of this video justifies Captain Boswell’s use of force to bang Arrona’s head into the ground and then wrench his arm at 90 degrees to Arrona’s prone and compliant body behind Arrona’s back.
If Captain Boswell’s actions depicted in the video do not vault above the thresholds of torture as defined by California’s Torture Penal Code 206, they certainly meet the plain English definition of torture. It is also abuse of police authority which while it does not reach the levels of a “Rodney King” incident nevertheless are not to be tolerated by Yucca Valley, San Bernardino County, California, and the United States of America.
Thus Captain Boswell’s testimony about the matter of the allegation of battery by Arrona is not credible and Mr. Arrona should be offered a chance to change his plea after a full investigation of the matter in order to obtain a new trial.