Tony Denunzio

Paul Wellman

Tony Denunzio

Denunzio Pleads Guilty to Resisting Arrest

Tony Denuzio, best known for having been publically beaten by a Santa Barbara police officer in the Gelson’s Parking lot in 2011, pleaded guilty to felony counts for resisting arrest when chased by Harbor Patrol Sergeant Ed Stetson in May 2014.

In his guilty plea, Denuznio also acknowledged Stetson sustained a torn bicep trying to make the arrest. At the time, witnesses described Denunzio as being drunk and unruly. Stetson was called to investigate complaints that Denuznio had boarded a boat that wasn’t his.

In pleading guilty, Denuznio agreed to a three-year probation sentence, three months of which would be served under house arrest. Denuznio’s attorney, Daryl Genis, had argued his client suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder over the 2011 police beating, and that he fled when Stetson reportedly put his hand on his Taser.

In 2011, Denunzio was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police claimed he was resisting arrest and the force had to be deployed. The District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute that matter. The DUI was eventually dismissed after a jury couldn’t agree unanimously, ending up 8-4 in favor of guilty.

In 2012, Denunzio was convicted of committing battery on his girlfriend’s son.

[Editor's Note: This story was changed on 2/5 to reflect correct 2011 trial information.]

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