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Fresno County Sheriff’s Office responds to video of arrest posted on social media


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is reviewing an incident caught on camera during an arrest in Sanger, where a deputy appears to punch a suspect on the ground.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Friday when deputies received a report of a man brandishing a gun outside Parlier. They spotted the suspect’s car, attempted to pull the car over, and a pursuit ensued until the driver ran over a spike strip.

The pursuit came to an end in front of a home on Cherry Avenue in Sanger.

Deputies say the driver attempted to run but was caught by a K-9.

The driver was identified as 41-year-old John Mathison of Reedley, who had been previously released following another high-speed pursuit outside Parlier on May 25.

RELATED: Arrested, released on $0 bail, arrested again after a second high-speed pursuit, deputies say

A bystander took the video and posted it to social media. The video appears to show a man on the ground and a deputy punching the suspect.

“This is a case where deputies were arresting an actively resisting suspect (John Mathison) after a call of him being armed and leading deputies on a lengthy pursuit. The chaotic scene includes a citizen’s dog that approached deputies and a FSO K-9 while trying to take Mathison into custody. Deputies worked to keep the citizen’s dog away without harming it.  

We document and review all use of force incidents. We will do the same in this case. We also have other longer videos of this incident which will be reviewed to try and provide more context to the totality of the case.” 


Mathison’s bail is set to $355,000

RELATED:Man arrested for DUI after high-speed chase, FCSO says

Deputies say they also found a machete inside the vehicle.

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