Over a manufactured “failure to signal” charge:
A Reading, Pennsylvania police officer filmed smashing a woman’s cellphone and punching her in the face has surrendered himself to authorities on multiple criminal charges.
Jesus Santiago-Dejesus pulled over Marcelina Cintron-Garcia and her boyfriend on April 5 for allegedly failing to use a turn signal while parking in the 800 block of Greenwich Street.
Santiago-Dejesus reportedly discovered that Cintron-Garcia didn’t have a driver’s license and the woman said she informed the officer she was recording the stop on her cellphone.
In surveillance footage, Santiago-DeJesus can be seen seating the boyfriend on a stoop before Cintron-Garcia comes over and starts talking with the officer and sits down as well.
After a brief conversation, Santiago-Dejesus is seen grabbing hold of Cintron-Garcia before other officers pull her boyfriend off the stoop and slam him to the sidewalk where he is handcuffed.
Santiago-Dejesus snatches Cintron-Garcia’s cellphone and smashes it on the ground. He then slugs her in the face. According to police, Cintron-Garcia hit her head on a pipe and required staples.
She was arrested on the charges of assault, harassment and resisting arrest and spent days in the Berks County jail. Her boyfriend was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest but was promptly freed on bail. He was not injured during the incident.
Watch raw footage:
On Wednesday, Berks County District Attorney John Adams charged Santiago-Dejesus with official oppression, criminal attempt tampering with/fabricate physical evidence, false reports to law enforcement authorities and unsworn falsification to authorities, and criminal mischief after an investigation found that:
- Santiago-DeJesus falsely implicated Cintron-Garcia for not using a proper right turn signal when pulling into a parking space on Greenwich Street, when surveillance video indicated that she had.
- Santiago-DeJesus attempted to damage and destroy potential audio and video evidence by slamming Contron-Garcia’s cell phone on the sidewalk.
- Santiago-DeJesus’s actions, which included the arrest, detention, seizure, mistreatment and infringement/damage to personal property, are in violation of official oppression.
All charges against Cintron-Garcia and her boyfriend have now been dropped. Attorneys for Santiago-Dejesus’s said there is no assault charges against the officer in the case because “his response was appropriate.”
Santiago-Dejesus surrendered himself to police on Thursday before being freed on $25,000 unsecured bail. He is on administrative leave from the police department.