Madera Co. man accused of brawling with deputy at a bar fights criminal charges

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Everybody has something to say once they see the surveillance video from the Buckhorn Saloon.

Jason De La Cruz is the man a deputy took to the ground in February.

He says he heard someone being rude to women outside the bar just after closing time, so he went outside and told the deputy to leave them alone. But he never got closer than 60 or 70 feet away, and he went right back into the locked bar.

A few minutes later, two deputies came inside, and De La Cruz says the big one started aggressively asking him questions.

He tried to stay calm in his seat but refused to give the deputy his name.

"And that's when he grabbed me and threw me on the floor with all his might, with everything," he said. "Knocking out my front teeth and causing damage to the side of my body."

De La Cruz got a bloody face, lost his two front teeth, and says he suffered a concussion.

He also got a trip to jail, and he now faces felony charges of resisting arrest as well as being drunk in public.

"These are trumped up, falsified charges that are intended to cover up the officer's violent actions," said defense attorney Kevin Little.

The deputy's report says De La Cruz threatened him with violence.

But Alvin McDonald, Jr. is the bartender seen to the left in the video, and he's one of six witnesses who say De La Cruz made no threats.

"I work at a bar and I deal with Sheriff's on a regular basis whenever they come by and no, none of them have ever acted like this is any form or any way," he said.

De La Cruz has a job where he works alongside law enforcement and he's facing discipline because of the charges.

But he's not anti-cop at all.

He plays in a band that does fundraisers for injured officers and says he trusts the sheriff to make the right decision.

"By no means do I feel like this officer represents Madera County Sheriff's as a whole but this is something that does need to be addressed," he said.

A spokesperson from the Madera County Sheriff's Office told Action News they are investigating a citizen's complaint about the arrest, but other than that they cannot comment.

De La Cruz is now scheduled for arraignment on the criminal charges next Monday.
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