OUTAGAMIE COUNTY - The Appleton Police Department confirms it is investigating the alleged conduct of Outagamie County sheriff's deputies.
A man accused of driving while intoxicated says he received serious injuries to his head when one of the deputies forced him out of his car.
32-year-old Joshua Peterson of De Pere says early Saturday morning he was approached by a deputy just before stepping out of his vehicle in the parking lot of a Kwik Trip in Darboy.
"I was intoxicated," admitted Peterson in a phone interview with FOX 11.
Peterson says when the deputy asked him step out to do a sobriety test, he told the officer he wanted to know his rights.
According to Peterson, he and the deputy debated for about 15 minutes. Peterson says two other deputies responded to the scene. Peterson adds he did not trust the first deputy and was scared to exit his vehicle.
"I didn't know what was going to happen to me. The officer was kind of aggressive with me, and I just wanted to know what my options were, and my rights were. And like I said, I probably would have been a lot more reasonable had I not been drinking," Peterson said.
Peterson says the deputy then pulled him from his car and his head was smashed into the ground. Pictures Peterson sent FOX 11 of his injuries can be seen in the video to the left. Peterson says he suffered a concussion, a laceration to his forehead, and abrasions to his face, hands, and shoulders.
"I don't agree with the amount of force that was used. I feel they could have detained me in a safer manner," said Peterson.
Peterson was arrested and jailed Saturday. The Outagamie County District Attorney has since filed charges of OWI First Offense and Operating a Vehicle after Suspension, Revocation or Cancellation of Registration.
Josh Peterson has filed a citizen complaint of excessive force against one of the deputies with the sheriff's office. Sheriff's officials say the three deputies who were involved in the incident are still on active duty, which they say is typical unless there is a specific reason for suspension.
In a phone interview with FOX 11's trading partner WTAQ Radio, sheriff's officials wouldn't comment on any specifics of the incident.
"As in any case where we receive any complaint from a citizen concerning officer conduct, we make sure that a thorough and complete and impartial investigation is done into the matter and once the facts are determined, at that point we determine whether any action should be taken or not," said Capt. Mike Jobe.
The sheriff's department handed the investigation over to the Appleton Police Department. Police officials declined to comment.
Authorities say there is dash cam video and video surveillance from the Kwik Trip. Officials say they will not release that video until the investigation is complete.
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