After a long time Pima County Sheriff’s deputy was severely injured in the line of duty his colleagues are rallying to support him and his family.
Sheriff Nanos says Sgt. Mark Bustamante was helping another officer with a DUI call at Alvernon Way and Drexel Road early Saturday morning. Nanos says Bustamante helping put Yesennia Gonzalez into a squad car when she started kicking, damaging his eye and eye socket. She was wearing high heeled boots at the time, according to reports.
Paramedics took Bustamante to Banner UMC where he underwent an unsuccessful surgery to save his eye. Nanos said he underwent another procedure Monday to remove the eye completely.
“Police work isn't all about being a tough guy, police work is about having heart, and doing the right thing every time, and Mark has heart and he does the right thing every time,” Sheriff Nanos was emotional while describing Sgt. Bustamante, who has been with the department more than 22 years. “Mark is not going to stop doing great things, he's just a good man, he's a good human being, and he'll be fine."
Bustamante is a supervisor in the traffic division. Other deputies have visited him in the hospital and told KGUN9, ABC15's sister station, that he's in good spirits despite losing his eye.
Nanos says he is hopeful Bustamante will be home before the end of the week. He says when Bustamante is ready the department will have a discussion with him about returning to work.
“If you're capable of doing this job, then we want you to do this job, and we know that there's a number of people who suffer from those types of maladies, and they still perform beautifully,” the sheriff said.
According to county and court records – Gonzalez, 28, lives in Sahuarita with her children. She is in the Pima County jail charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer, resisting arrest, and DUI.