Jesus Santiago-DeJesus, a Reading, Pennsylvania, police officer, was reportedly arraigned on May 19 after being charged with multiple crimes stemming from an incident involving Marcelina Cintron-Garcia in April (video below).
According to prosecutors, Santiago-DeJesus, 27, lied about pulling over Cintron-Garcia, 30, for failing to use her turn signal when surveillance video shows that Cintron-Garcia did use the signal, WPVI reports.
During the stop, Santiago-DeJesus and Cintron-Garcia got into an argument, and Cintron-Garcia began filming with her cell phone, as did her boyfriend, Joel Rodriguez, WGAL notes.
Surveillance video from a nearby residence, released by authorities at a press conference on May 17, showed a struggle between Cintron-Garcia and Santiago-DeJesus over her cell phone.
Santiago-DeJesus was recorded on a cell phone video saying that Cintron-Garcia claimed her car was a Mitsubishi when it was actually a Honda. However, Cintron-Garcia's vehicle is a Mitsubishi.
The video appears to show Santiago-DeJesus smashing the cell phone on the concrete, Cintron-Garcia reaching out with her left hand, and Santiago-DeJesus coming back with a right punch.
Cintron-Garcia told WGAL what Santiago-DeJesus allegedly did next: "Oh my God, he push me, he throw me on the floor."
Cintron-Garcia reportedly hit her head on a drain pipe and was taken to a hospital for treatment, which included three staples in her head to close the wound.
She was then taken to jail and was charged with multiple crimes including aggravated assault.
"That's really hard for me," Cintron-Garcia said. "I cried for three days in the jail [cell], thinking about my kids."
Cintron-Garcia filed a complaint, and prosecutors eventually dropped all the charges against her and Rodriguez and launched an investigation of the incident.
Santiago-DeJesus was charged with official oppression, attempted tampering with/fabricating evidence, false reports to law enforcement, unsworn falsification to authorities and criminal mischief, notes ReadingEagle.com.
Santiago-DeJesus' attorney, Allan Sodomsky, said the traffic stop was legitimate and that Cintron-Garcia first assaulted Santiago-DeJesus, notes WPVI.
According to Sodomsky, Santiago-DeJesus tried to take the cell phone away from Cintron-Garcia so that she would not be able to use it against the officer as a weapon.
Santiago-DeJesus, who declined to comment, has been placed on paid leave.