Air Force Captain's Career on The Line After Run-In With Cop on His Own Property
An Air Force captain is banned from going back to grad school, his entire career jeopardized, because of pending charges against him of attempting to burgle his own home.
Nicolas Aquino, an eight-year veteran of the Air Force, was tackled and nearly arrested in front of his own house by a Monterey County Sheriff’s deputy last December. The deputy thought he was a burglar after a neighbor called 911 reporting a man walking around the house suspiciously.
The officer approached Aquino and demanded to see his ID.
"All he said was, 'I need to see your ID.' At that moment I'm like, 'Excuse me sir, but who are you? And why are you here?'" Aquino told KSBW.
"He says it again, I have to produce identification. At that moment I asked him, 'Am I being detained?' He said, 'Yes,' and so I said, 'OK, then my name is Nicolas Aquino. I live right here. I'm in the military,'" Aquino said.
Aquino showed the officer his card but didn’t relinquish it. That’s when the deputy decided he would “detain him physically and place him into handcuffs,” according to his incident report.
"That's when he grabs my wrist, puts me in a front guillotine, slams my head into the ground and spins around and does a rear naked choke, so he puts me in a choke hold,” Aquino described.
The deputy writes in the incident report that he sat on top of Aquino, who wouldn’t comply with his request to put his hands out to his sides and seemed to be moving them towards his body as if to withdraw a weapon.
"I physically can't move, I'm not resisting," Aquino said.
The deputy put Aquino in handcuffs, releasing him once Aquino showed him bills with his name and address — but not until a second deputy arrived and the two officers entered Aquino’s home as he waited in a patrol car.
“I told them, ‘I don’t consent to a search,’” Aquino told the Monterey County Weekly. “They went to my door and it appears they went into my house.”
Seven weeks after the ordeal, he received a warrant for his arrest from county prosecutors for resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer. Aquino will stand trial for the misdemeanor charges.
Aquino, a student at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, can’t go back to school until the charges are cleared. His military career is now threatened, he says.
“I’ve been shot at before,” Aquino said. “But I’ve never been more scared than I was that day in Carmel.”