Police officer charged with holding gun to man's head

AP News
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Posted: Mar 20, 2015 3:28 PM
Police officer charged with holding gun to man's head

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A police officer in Maryland has been indicted on assault charges after prosecutors say he held a gun to the head of a man who hadn't committed a crime.

Police and prosecutors announced Friday that a grand jury indicted Prince George's County Officer Jenchesky Santiago on charges including first-degree assault and misconduct in office. He had been suspended with pay since police began investigating the incident last June, and now is suspended without pay.

According to prosecutors, Santiago was on patrol in a Bowie neighborhood last May and told two men that they were parked illegally outside a home when they weren't. The driver explained that he was dropping off his cousin, prosecutors said. Santiago ordered that man, who had been walking toward his house, to return to the car.

When the man failed to return, Santiago blocked him from entering his home, pulled his service weapon and held it against the man's head, prosecutors said. Santiago also pointed the gun at the man's mouth, prosecutors said.

He also threatened the men, saying, "We're PGPD; we shoot people," authorities said.

The driver of the car used his cellphone to record video of the officer pointing the gun at his cousin, prosecutors said.

"We do not train our officers in this manner," Prince George's County police chief Mark Magaw said in a statement. "These actions are not indicative of the high standards we expect of our officers."

After their internal investigation, police turned evidence over to prosecutors, who took it before a grand jury.

Santiago's attorney, Steven Sunday, did not return messages seeking comment.