Police officer faces charges after incident caught on camera

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

READING, Pa. -- A Reading police officer is facing criminal charges including official oppression and false reports to law enforcement.  Detectives said he hit a woman and smashed her phone - and it was all caught on camera.

Officer Jesus Santiago-Dejesus is expected to turn himself in. In April, he arrested two people after an altercation.

Santiago-Dejesus claimed Marcelina Cintron-Garcia did not use her turn signal while parking and pulled her over.

He told Cintron-Garcia and her passenger, Joel Rodriguez, to get out of the car and sit by the curb, while they were recording him on their cell phones. Santiago-Dejesus called for backup and told them to stop recording him. Cintron-Garcia refused and Santiago-Dejesus tried to take her phone away from her.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams said, "This interaction between police and citizen was escalated by the police behavior. In policing we need to de-escalate confrontations."

But a house near where the incident unfolded had surveillance cameras. The video showed Cintron-Garcia used her turn signal correctly. Santiago-Dejesus is seen trying to get Cintron-Garcia's phone. He punches her and smashes her phone to the ground.

Adams said, "This officer demonstrated the fact that he did not want this interaction videotaped when in fact many of our police departments throughout the country are moving toward body cameras for the very reason that these types of interactions be audio and videotaped."

After this altercation, Cintron-Garcia and Rodriguez were charged with numerous crimes including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Adams said the false report jeopardizes law enforcement's image.

"Our credibility is of the utmost importance. The integrity of the criminal justice system is in jeopardy when a police officer fabricates information," Adams said.

And this isn't the first time Santiago-Dejesus destroyed a person's phone.

"This officer was involved in another incident when a cellphone was present and he took that cellphone and slammed that cellphone down also." Adams said.

He is now on administrative leave.