San Marcos, Texas, police officer James Palermo was arrested today after he allegedly arrested and assaulted an innocent pedestrian on May 29.
The incident began when Palermo stopped a Toyota Prius after 1:00 a.m. for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
While Palermo was questioning the driver, a female pedestrian walked by the scene and was called over by the officer.
Palermo asked the pedestrian why she was walking by his traffic stop and requested her identification, noted KVUE.com.
When the unidentified woman said she had done nothing illegal, Palermo allegedly slammed her against the Prius, pushed her onto a concrete driveway and arrested the woman for obstruction of justice.
However, the San Marcos Police Department reviewed the case and released the woman, who lost two teeth and suffered a concussion during the arrest. Palermo was charged today with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury by a public servant.
The San Marco Police Department issued a statement, which read in part:
Cpl. James Palermo of the San Marcos Police Department was arrested Tuesday, July 16 and charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury by a public servant, a first degree felony, in connection with an incident that occurred May 29 in which a woman suffered serious injuries during an arrest. Police Chief Howard Williams ordered an internal investigation on May 30.
Employed by the SMPD since 2000, Palermo has been on paid administrative leave since June 10 while the San Marcos Police Department conducted the investigation. The arrest was reviewed by the Hays County District Attorney’s Office and by a prosecutor with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.