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Woman Who Kicked Deputy’s Eye Out Gets Plea Deal With No Jail

Pima County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Mark Bustamante was forced to retire after losing his eye in 2016.

Tucson, AZ – A Tucson woman who kicked out a Pima County Sheriff’s deputy’s eye with the heel of her boot accepted a plea agreement for a probation sentence on Tuesday.

Yesennia Gonzalez pleaded guilty to extreme DUI and aggravated assault on a police officer, and now faces up to three years of probation, KVOA reported.

Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) Sergeant Mark Bustamante was a 22-year veteran-of-the-force when the attack occurred on Dec. 9, 2016, according to KGUN.

According to court records, a DUI task force deputy stopped Gonzalez for driving “71 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone making numerous unsafe lane changes while cutting off vehicles.”

The deputy soon discovered that the then-28-year-old woman had a blood-alcohol level that was more than three times over the legal limit, according to KVOA.

Gonzalez went on the fight when the deputy attempted to arrest her, at which point Sgt. Bustamante arrived at the scene to assist him, KGUN reported.

As the deputies attempted to “lift her up and put her in the backseat” of a patrol car, Gonzalez, who was wearing nearly four-inch heels, began kicking her feet, according to court documents.

Sgt. Bustamante, who was trying to control the suspect’s legs, described the moment when Gonzalez rammed her heel into his eye.

“I felt the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life,” he recalled, according to KGUN. “The minute she kicked me, I knew I lost my eye. The kick was that hard and that precise.”

Despite the severity of his injury, the sergeant stayed in the fight and grabbed onto the combative suspect’s legs until she was secured.

He then held his hand over his destroyed eye, blood gushing through his fingers, as he waited for an ambulance to arrive.

In the end, Sgt. Bustamante lost his eye, and was ultimately forced to retire from the PCSD, KVOA reported.

“I’ve lost money, my identity – part of my identity as a police officer – as a husband, as a man, as a father,” he said.

According to the sergeant, part of the reason Gonzalez scored the probation-only plea agreement was because she used an insanity defense.

“This is a case that could’ve gone…could have seen its conclusion through a jury of fact-finders or triers of fact. So that they could make a decision based on the information that was given and the questions answered and see if it was insanity that caused her to kick my eye out or if it was the alcohol or both,” he told KVOA.

But with the plea agreement now in place, a jury trial will never happen.

“I feel betrayed,” Sgt. Bustamante said. “I feel upset. I feel angry.”

Gonzalez’s sentencing is scheduled for February 3, 2020, KGUN reported.

Holly Matkin - December Thu, 2019


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