Lancaster deputy involved in WinCo incident arrested after domestic violence allegation

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Seven months after he was caught on camera throwing a Black woman to the ground during a controversial use-of-force incident in a WinCo parkinfg lot, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Trevor Kirk was arrested last week for alleged domestic battery.

Jail records show the 30-year-old Lancaster deputy was picked up by deputies from the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station Thursday evening and quickly released on $20,000 bond. His attorney, Tom Yu, said Monday that Kirk had not yet been formally charged.

“I’m pretty confident this arrest does not warrant a criminal filing against my client,” Yu told The Times, adding that the incident allegedly involving Kirk’s wife was reported by a third party who did not witness it. “My understanding is that the wife was not desirous of prosecution and that she denied all the allegations made against Trevor.”

Kirk’s wife did not respond to requests for comment.

In a statement Monday, the Sheriff’s Department confirmed the misdemeanor arrest, which officials said is currently under investigation.

“The Department takes allegations of domestic abuse seriously and does not tolerate criminal behavior from our personnel,” the statement said. “We expect our employees to uphold the highest legal and ethical standards that are required to serve our communities, both on and off duty.

At the time of his arrest, the department said, Kirk had already been relieved of duty in connection with the WinCo incident.

Caree Harper, an attorney representing the woman Kirk threw to the ground outside the WinCo, said Monday that she was also investigating last week’s arrest and that she viewed it as part of a pattern.

“He’s a woman beater, and he should be taken off the streets and fired immediately,” she told The Times. “We have credible sources saying he has a pattern of violence.”

It’s not clear exactly when the alleged abuse occurred, though Yu said it may have been “weeks or months” earlier. He also said he didn’t know the specifics of the allegation against his client, which he maintained only resulted in an arrest because peace officers have “no choice” but to act following any accusation of domestic violence.

“This arrest has nothing to do with the WinCo incident,” he added. “They’re very different.”

In June, deputies responded to 911 calls about a robbery in progress at the WinCo grocery store on Avenue K in Lancaster. After arriving, they encountered a man and a woman — later identified in court filings as Jacy Houseton and Damon Barnes — who allegedly matched the descriptions of the suspects given to 911.

As the deputies handcuffed Barnes in the parking lot, Houseton began recording with her phone. Within seconds, one of the deputies rushed toward her and reached for her arm, seemingly in an attempt to take the phone.

“You can’t touch me,” she screamed. The deputy threw her on the ground, and video showed him arguing with her, pepper-spraying her in the face and putting her in handcuffs..

Barnes was cited on suspicion of resisting an officer, attempted petty theft and interfering with a business. Houseton was hospitalized for the effects of the pepper spray and for abrasions to her arm. She was released but cited for allegedly assaulting an officer and store loss prevention personnel.

At a July 6 news conference, Luna called the incident “disturbing” and said that both of the deputies involved had been removed from field duty pending an internal investigation, which officials say is still ongoing.

That same month, The Times revealed that the FBI had opened a criminal investigation into the incident as well as into one in Palmdale, where a deputy was caught on camera punching a young mother in the face as she clung to her baby. The Sheriff’s Department confirmed Monday that federal authorities are still reviewing the case.

In August, Houseton and Barnes filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department and WinCo alleging battery, negligence and civil rights violations. They said they never stole anything from the WinCo and that they’d been unfairly harassed by security, even though surveillance footage showed them paying for their purchases.

In court filings, Kirk denied several of the allegations outright, and said others were too broad. The case is still pending in federal court.

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