Caught On Camera: Off-Duty Tulare Co. Deputy Fights Neighbor
VISALIA, Calif. (KMPH) —
Caught on camera, a Visalia couple tells an off-duty Tulare County Sheriff's Deputy and his wife to get off their property. Instead, a video shows the deputy standing firm and then throwing a punch, even tackling his neighbor to the ground.
The homeowners say the man involved in the fight is off-duty Tulare County Sheriff's Deputy Bari Molyneaux.
The cell phone video shows the shirtless off-duty deputy standing on his neighbor's lawn, while the deputy's wife quickly trims the hedges that separates their properties.
The man who received the punch is Guillermo Arce, who goes by Will.
Will Arce says, he was taking out the trash and asked his neighbor to get off his lawn.
Will Arce says, "The guy got confrontational. He stood in front of me and said I'm going to stand here and wait until she's done and then we will leave."
Will Arce says, he tried to scoot past his neighbor to talk with his wife and that is when he says his Molyneaux hit him in the face.
Will Arce says, "He continued to throw blows and I got hold of him and we went down to the ground. He ripped my shirt off and at that point he just started hitting me."
Arce's wife, Katie says, "My husband didn't raise a hand, didn't raise his voice. On Sunday I just wanted her to leave to get off our property and she said your just renters I can do whatever I want, you're just renters."
Katie Arce who was recording the confrontation stopped to call 911. Visalia police officers arrived but she claims the responding officer immediately went to talk with her neighbor first and then came over to her house to talk with her. She says the first words out of the officer's mouth were 'we may not file a complaint.'
Will Arce says," My breath was taken away. Why won't you file a report, this guy beat the heck out of me on my property after several attempts to please leave."
Katie Arce says, "Without talking to us, he had already made his mind up. He is law enforcement so therefore he could not be lying. It wasn't until they saw our video, they explained to us he was being arrested on paper but not being taken to jail."
A Visalia Police Department spokesperson said, "No one has been arrested because the case is still under investigation. But it will be turned over to the Tulare County District Attorney Office."
As for the deputy, KMPH News Reporter Erik Rosales tired to get a comment from him at his home and on his social media page, face book. But Erik did not get a response.
A Tulare County Sheriff's Department spokesperson said, "The sheriff's department is aware of the incident and video. This incident was off duty and anything the department does in regards to the personnel side, we will not be commenting on."
Katie Arce says that is not good enough. She adds, "Before all I wanted was for them to leave us alone. Now I would like a little more. I would like him to lose his job. Someone like that should be protecting us."
The Arces say they have filed a restraining order against both the deputy and his wife.
A judge is scheduled to make a decision on that issue Friday morning.