READING, PA (WTXF) - A Reading police officer is expected to turn himself in to face several criminal charges after he pulled over two people in a car, and that led to an altercation.
That incident happened April 5, 2016 in the 800 block of Greenwich Street, and Reading police asked the Berks County District Attorney’s Office to investigate.
It found Officer Jesus Santiago-DeJesus, 27, pulled over driver Marcelina Cintron-Garcia and passenger Joel Rodriguez for allegedly not using a turn signal.
Then, he detained them outside for investigative reasons and both began to record the officer with their cellphones. Officer Santiago-DeJesus radioed for police back-up and Rodriguez turned off his phone.
Then, the three argued over the traffic stop and the officer ordered the two to sit on the front steps of a nearby rowhome. Cintron-Garcia recorded two backup officers arriving, and the officer told her to hand over her phone and she refused.
Then, the report says “Officer Santiago-DeJesus physically attempted to take the cellular telephone from her.” While that was happening, Rodriguez moved between them so Santiago-DeJesus had the officers physically pull him off the steps and handcuff him.
“Officer Santiago-DeJesus forcibly wrestled the cellular telephone from Cintron-Garcia’s hand, which contained audio and video footage of the interaction,” the report reads. “Then, he slammed it down onto the sidewalk causing damage to the phone in an attempt to destroy potential evidence.”
After that, she had to be taken to the hospital “for treatment for injuries she sustained during the arrest.”
The investigation found Officer Santiago-DeJesus falsely implicated Cintron-Garcia didn’t use a proper right turn signal when pulling into a parking space when surveillance video showed she did. Also, he tried to damage and destroy potential audio and video evidence by slamming Cintron-Garcia’s cellular telephone on the sidewalk. And, his arrest, detention, seizure, mistreatment, infringement/damage personal property are official oppression.
Santiago-DeJesus is charged with official oppression, criminal attempt tampering with/fabricate physical evidence, false reports to law enforcement authorities and unsworn falsification to authorities and criminal mischief.
He’d been on the force almost four years.
Charges that had been filed against Cintron-Garcia and Rodriguez were withdrawn.