4 Sheriff’s Department Use Of Force Incidents In One Month In Hesperia, Apple Valley & RC Net 3 Deaths

A rash of use of force incidents, including three that resulted in the deaths of civilians, bedeviled the sheriff’s department this month.
The violent nature of the encounters has provoked loud and repeated charges that sheriff’s deputies are using an excessive and unnecessary degree of force and has tested unto breaking Sheriff Shannon Dicus’s stated commitment to release the relevant footage of the bodyworn video cameras all of his deputies have recently been outfitted.
The most recent such contretemps to come to public attention was the March 26 arrest of a Hesperia-based entrepreneur the sheriff’s department maintains was involved in an armed robbery two days previously. That arrest involved deputies from the Hesperia Station and took place roughly ten blocks from the man’s place of business, a tattoo parlor located at 16138 Main Street next to Ararat Market Avenue on the north side of Main between Third Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Much of the department’s takedown of Alonso was captured on video by a passerby and mounted onto a social media platform, thereafter going viral.
In the video, at first three deputies can be seen grappling with the man, identified as Christian Cardenas Alonso, a 36-year-old resident of Adelanto, at the side of the roadway behind Alonso’s maroon- or burgundy-colored 1964 Chevrolet Impala, bearing the license plate number 72IX939. Alonzo is face down on the pavement, with the deputies kneeling at various angles over him. At several points, Alonso’s head is being scraped or raked with force against the pavement on the shoulder of the road. A fourth deputy then comes into the video’s frame of focus to assist in making the arrest. Throughout the ordeal, Alonso sustains repeated blows to his head.
The location of the action is near the corner of Main Street and E Avenue.
In the video obtained by the Sentinel, abstracted from an Instagram posting by an individual who uses the handle jesseloc_, what looks to be one uniformed deputy, another wearing an identifying jacket and a third deputy in what appear to be plain clothes, have Alonzo on the ground. The uniformed deputy and the deputy with the identifying jacket are somewhat obscured by the plain clothed deputy, who is closer to the video camera. The plain-clothed deputy, who is kneeling and positioned with his backside toward the Impala, knees the struggling and face-down Alonzo three times with a moderate degree of force, whereupon a fourth deputy is seen approaching the melee. The plain-clothed deputy then punches Alonso four times as his colleagues are bent over the arrestee with their arms extended, as if they are straining to hold him to the ground. The plain-clothed deputy then repositions himself so he is on the other side of Alonzo and facing the car, at which point he knees Alonso five times with a greater degree of force to the head, then punches him straight down to the head with Alonso’s head against the pavement four times and then knees him to the head again. The videographer, jesseloc_, can then be heard calling out, “Hey, you fucked him up already, dog.”
In the video from that point on, whatever resistance Alonso might have been manifesting ceased and the deputies appear to be effectuating a handcuffing.
Initially, after the video had gathered attention by making the rounds locally but before it had accumulated hundreds of thousands of viewers statewide, nationally and internationally, the department at 10:17 p.m. on March 27 put out a press release that minimized what occurred.
Bearing the heading “A Use of Force Occurs When Deputies Investigating a Robbery Attempt to Arrest a Suspect in Hesperia,” the advisory noted the time of the incident as being 4:51 p.m. on March 26. It specified the matter in question as an incidence of “robbery,” which took place in the 16000 block of Main Street. It identified Alonso as the suspect, while maintaining the victim was “confidential.”
According to the narrative, “On Sunday, March 24, 2024, deputies from the Hesperia Station responded to an armed robbery at the 16000 block of Main Street in Hesperia.  Through investigation, investigators identified Christian Cardenas Alonso as the suspect.  Alonso is a convicted felon and an active criminal street gang member.”
Furthermore, according to the department, “On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, investigators from the Hesperia Station located Alonso near the intersection of Main Street and E Avenue in Hesperia.  The investigators initiated a traffic stop and contacted Alonso who refused to exit his vehicle.  Alonso resisted arrest and a use of force occurred.”
The department added that “During a search of Alonso’s vehicle, the victim’s property was located in the trunk. A search warrant was subsequently served at Alonso’s place of business, Califa Tattoo, located at the 16000 block of Main Street in Hesperia. Upon service of the search warrant, investigators contacted several known criminal street gang members inside the business who attempted to flee out the back door of the business. Investigators recovered a firearm, ammunition, and gang indicia from inside Alonso’s business.”
According to the department, “The investigation is being forwarded to the district attorney’s office for review.”
The advisory concluded with a statement from Sheriff Shannon Dicus.
“I have been made aware of the use of force that occurred during the arrest of a suspected armed robbery suspect. The use of force is currently under investigation, which includes the review of all body worn cameras. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” Dicus was quoted.
The Sentinel’s effort to engage with Dicus was met with a response from the department that Dicus had left the state and would not be available until after the Easter holiday. The department refused to release footage from any of the four available bodyworn video cameras that is in the custody of the department.
Less than three weeks ago, in the aftermath of a fatal shooting of a suspect by at least one of the department’s officers on March 9, Dicus told the Sentinel and numerous other media outlets that the department was anxious to make bodyworn camera video footage available to the media and public to dispel notions that the department has been engaged in unwarranted uses of force.
Despite his ordeal, Alonso survived. That has not been the case with three other suspects who crossed paths with department personnel in recent weeks.
On March 9, Ryan Gainer, a 15-year-old resident of Apple Valley was shot in the torso what is believed to be three times by a deputy as he wielded a bladed garden hoe and galloped toward another deputy who had arrived at the Gainer Family home at 13494 Iroquois Road in response to calls for assistance by a member of the Gainer family. Young Gainer was experiencing what has been represented as “an autistic episode,” during which he was assaulting one of his sisters and had broken a window and was threatening others with a glass shard after having been disciplined by his parents.
Gainer was pronounced dead upon being transported to a local hospital. The department in short order released the video footage of that shooting, taken from the perspective of two of the deputies.
A Rancho Cucamonga man who was slammed to the pavement in a confrontation with San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies died after the encounter.
The sheriff’s department provides contract law enforcement services to Rancho Cucamonga, functioning as that city’s police department.
Some 22 minutes after midnight on March 19, deputies in Rancho Cucamonga engaged in a violent encounter with Mohd Hijaz, 32 in the 10100 block of Foothill Boulevard, just east of the Foothill/Hermosa Avenue intersection, following a report by a nearby resident that an individual was acting erratically, seeking to open apartment and vehicle doors, and that he had pulled the building’s fire alarm.
After locating Hijaz “seated in a bush” and yelling incoherently, deputies reported that Hijaz without warning advanced toward them and refused multiple commands to stop, at which point, according to the department, “a use of force occurred” and Hijaz struck one deputy in the face. Reportedly, Hijaz was severely injured when he was lifted and brought with force to the ground by a deputy in response to Hijaz’s combativeness. He lost consciousness and transported to a local hospital where he was determined to have died.
The department has not released the video footage of the ordeal involving Hijaz.
On March 23 in Hesperia, deputies shot and killed 52-year-old Keith Vinyard after deputies, in apparent response to a domestic violence warrant for Vinyard’s arrest, engaged in a vehicle chase in which he attempted to escape and was driving recklessly. After the pursuit ended within the vicinity of the 15400 block of Halinor Street, according to the sheriff’s department, Vinyard refused to comply with commands made by a deputy, whom Vinyard threatened to shoot. While it is unclear whether Vinyard actually possessed a gun, the department claims he armed himself with a “large metal object” as other deputies arrived on scene, at which point, at around 9:50 p.m., he was fatally shot.
The department has refused to release the footage of Vinyard’s shooting.

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