San Francisco

‘They Took His Soul': Mother of Man Beaten by Sheriff's Deputies, Arrested by FBI Speaks Out

Stanislav Petrov was moved to Marin County Jail Monday, but called his mother and said sheriff's deputies there had also hit him, Olga Petrov alleged.

A man who was severely beaten by two Alameda County sheriff's deputies last year, only to be arrested by the FBI on undisclosed charges, appeared in federal court in San Francisco Monday at a closed hearing.

The courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Sallie Kim was cleared and closed to the public before Stanislav Petrov was brought before Kim. The 29-year-old was to be arraigned Monday, but sources say it was put off until Wednesday. A spokesman for prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office was not available for comment.

Stanislav Petrov's mother, Olga Petrov of San Francisco, who was also barred from the hearing, told NBC Bay Area Monday evening that her son had been moved to Marin County Jail. He called and told her that he had been beaten by deputies there as well, she alleged. However, a sheriff's sergeant denied the allegations.

Speaking outside court earlier in the day, Olga Petrov said that her son has suffered brain injuries and is struggling with post-traumatic stress since the beating.

"He started becoming absolutely unpredictable and unmanageable" after the beating, she said. 

Stanislav Petrov has not received the mental health treatment he needs, according to Olga Petrov.

"In November, they destroyed him physically, they destroyed him mentally, and I’m not only talking about his hands," she said. "They took his soul." 

Stanislav Petrov was beaten by two deputies with more than 40 baton blows on a street in the Mission District at the end of a car chase that began in unincorporated San Leandro on Nov. 12. A video of the beating has widely circulated online.

The incident prompted an investigation and three sheriff's deputies — one of whom is accused of bribing witnesses in exchange for silence and then taking a so-called trophy shot with Stanislav Petrov's bloodied body — have been placed on administrative leave. 

Petrov's mother and lawyers representing him in a complaint against Alameda County say he suffered several head injuries and permanent damage to his hands, so that he can no longer work as an auto mechanic.

An attorney representing one of the sheriff's deputies decried Olga Petrov's accusations Monday and defended the deputies' actions, saying Stanislav Petrov refused to surrender, necessitating the use of force.

On Friday, the FBI and San Francisco police raided a house in the city's Visitacion Valley neighborhood and arrested Petrov and an unidentified woman. Sources say he was slapped with a federal weapons charge, officials said.

"This horrible event that we saw on the news on Friday – it’s only the top of the iceberg," Olga Petrov said.

She also said, "My son was deliberately criminalized" unfairly by various law enforcement agencies leaking what she believes to be false reports of alleged offenses. 

Ever since last year's brutal beating, law enforcement officials have been trying to paint her son as a monster and bury him in prison, further traumatizing him, Olga Petrov said.

Stanislav Petrov, however, has a long criminal arrest record. As a felon he could face a decade in prison, if convicted of possessing a firearm. 

Meanwhile, on Saturday, 23-year-old Dana Rinta, a former girlfriend of Petrov's who had been missing for more than two weeks, walked into a police station in the city and said she and her 17-month-old daughter were safe.

Olga Petrov said she did not know anything about the house where her son was arrested.

Since the trauma of the beating, she said, Stanislav Petrov's "habit was to live in multiple places. He had multiple ladies he was calling his girlfriend."

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