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Deputy's report says he struggled to control teen with no arms or legs

Posted at 3:55 PM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 18:01:47-05

We're learning more about the arrest of a teen with no arms or legs that was caught on video -- this time, from the perspective of the sheriff's deputy.

Video released by the Pima County Sheriff's Department showed the September incident in which Deputy Manuel Van Santen wrestles a 15-year-old boy with no arms or legs to the ground. The incident happened at a group home and was captured on video by another resident.

According to a police report about the incident from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, it started when the teen learned he was suspended from school. It says he was enraged at the news and knocked over a trash can, then tried to get physical with a worker at the group home.

That worker then went outside and called the Sheriff's Department. When Deputy Manuel Van Santen showed up, the report says the teen tried to push past the deputy, repeatedly yelling at him to get out of the way.

The report says Van Santen tried to physically control the teen, but had a hard time because the teen "squirmed and wiggled around in violent fashion." In the report, Van Santen says the teen was difficult to control "in part because he did not have any arms or legs I could grab onto." Eventually, as seen in the video, Van Santen pinned the teen to the ground.

RELATED: Charges dropped against teen with no limbs restrained by deputy

In the video, the deputy shouting and swearing at the teen after releasing him.

In a statement Monday, Sheriff Mark Napier called the video "shocking, disturbing and personally saddening to watch." He says the narrative in the written report does not exonerate Deputy Van Santen, who is currently on administrative leave and under criminal investigation in connection with the incident.

Charges of disorderly conduct and threat and intimidation charges against the teen were ultimately dropped.

Click here to read Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier's full statement