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Sgt. who lost his eye on the job speaks out about plea deal for his attacker

Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 07:57:12-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — This story originally misspelled the name Mark Bustamante.

A woman accused of kicking a Pima County Sheriff's Department Sergeant so hard he lost his eye, has accepted a plea deal.

Yesennia Gonzalez was facing a total of four charges. She pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and extreme D.U.I.

But the Sergeant who lost his eye said that deal from the Pima County Attorney's Office isn't enough.

Mark Bustamante now has a prosthetic eye, but his life has been altered drastically. He now struggles with depth perception and startles easily.

"I wake up with sleep in my good eye and panic because I can't see anything," Bustamante said.

Records show a D.U.I. task force deputy pulled Yesennia Gonzalez over for speeding and reporter her alcohol level as 2.5 times the legal limit. At one point during the arrest Gonzales kicked Bustamonte in the eye.

In a previous interview, Bustamante walked KGUN 9 through the moments after the kick.

"The minute she kicked me I knew I lost my eye," Bustamante said. "The kick was that hard, it was that precise."

The deputy who pulled Gonzalez over said she was going 71 miles per hour down Alvernon Way, in a 45 mile per hour zone.

The county attorney's office tells KGUN 9 that they offered the plea because experts on both sides declared her legally insane at the time of the crime.

"I had a hard time with," Bustamante reacted. "Not arguing with what the doctor is saying but what no one is talking about is the amount of alcohol she voluntarily drank."

Bustamante also wanted to know whether the alcohol had any impact on her mental state.

"I wanted those questions asked in a court of law with a jury who tries facts and let them make the decision," Bustamante said.

The Pima County Attorney's Office released the following statement:

According to state law, it would be a foregone conclusion she would be found guilty except insane and she would be released with no consequences. No prison, no probation and no monitoring of her. It was determined it's better to get a guilty plea to hold her accountable and protect public safety.
Pima County Attorney's Office

KGUN 9 is told Gonzalez faces up to two and a half years in prison. She could get felony probation of two years supervision.

"It's not enough for me personally," Bustamante said. "Not enough for my family."

Gonzalez's sentencing is scheduled for February 3rd.