Cop investigated for fake arrest of teen

September 23, 2010 9:29:00 PM PDT
Did a San Jose police officer abuse his power when he pretended to arrest his stepdaughter's boyfriend? He handcuffed the 15-year-old boy for having sex with the officer's 14-year-old stepdaughter.

The district attorney, a police auditor, and the police department's internal affairs are all looking into this incident. ABC7 is not releasing the officer's identity to protect the minors' identity.

A 15-year-old boy says a veteran San Jose police officer came to his home, on his department issued motorcycle in uniform, and threatened him. The family's attorney says their son is in a relationship with the officer's 14-year-old stepdaughter.

"He made comments like, 'You don't mess with a cop's daughter.' That's a show of authority, that's inappropriate," says attorney Tony Boskovich. "Applying force, applying handcuffs, threatening the young man with things such as rape in prison."

The boy's parents captured some of the encounter on a cell phone video camera, which has not been made public. They say the officer handcuffed the teenager and had his hand on his gun most of the time.

The attorney for the police officer says at the time, no one had a problem with the fake arrest, saying in a statement, "The officer was essentially invited to use 'scare straight' tactics and there were no objections to the lecture."

The department's internal affairs is now investigating.

"Our department has no policy prohibiting an officer from investigating a case or being involved in a case where he or she knows the involved parties or is emotionally involved in the incident," says San Jose Officer Jose Garcia.

Another officer did follow up the incident and complaint, citing both teenagers with a misdemeanor charge of sex with a minor. The boy's attorney says that is a cover up and intimidation. The case now has the attention of the independent police auditor LaDoris Cordell.

"If it was retaliatory, I will tell you that is very atypical and very unusual, but is something that IA will look at, internal affairs, and that our office will investigate," says Cordell.

"He acted like a cowboy. He lost it, he came in and he abused his authority," says Boskovich.

The district attorney says she requested additional information from the police department to determine if any crimes were committed.

ABC7's legal analyst Dean Johnson says it is possible that the police officer could face criminal charges including false imprisonment and assault under color of authority.


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