July 17, 2013
A Texas police officer has been jailed after he assaulted 22-year old Alexis Alpha, who had the audacity to walk by the scene of his traffic stop.
The confrontation with the officer left Alpha with a concussion and several missing teeth, an ordeal that is sure to leave her traumatized for a lifetime.
During a midnight shift, 40-year old Corporal James Angelo Palermo, pulled over a Toyota Prius on May 29 around 1:00a.m. for traveling the wrong way down a one-way street.
When the female pedestrian passed by his traffic stop, Cpl. Palermo questioned the woman, asking why she was walking by his stop. He then insisted she provide her identification.
After Alpha pronounced her innocence, she told the officer he must be having a bad day and called him a “dick.” Cpl. Palermo proceeded to take immediate action and slammed her against the Prius and onto the concrete.
He then arrested her and charged her with obstruction, a third degree felony, resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor, and public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor.
Police Commander Penny Dunn said Alpha was not guilty of any of those crimes. Adding “Cpl. Palermo had no reason to detain Ms. Alpha nor did he ever develop probable cause to arrest her for any offense.”
Cmdr. Dunn said, “Ms. Alpha made no contact with either the driver or Cpl. Palermo. She did not look at them as she walked by and made no suspicious movements, gestures or comments that would indicate she was anything more than a passerby [and] appeared unaware of the actions of either the driver or Cpl. Palermo.”
Once Cpl. Palermo’s supervisors reviewed the case, the woman was released but shockingly her charges have not been dropped. She is scheduled to be arraigned on August 2.
Cpl. Palermo, who had been with the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) for 13 years, was arrested on July 16 for aggravated assault by a public servant.
In a statement issued by the SMPD, “Cpl. James Palermo was 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.”
The incident took place in San Marcos, Texas, a popular college town just twenty miles south of Austin, home to Texas State University.
Police Chief Howard Williams ordered an internal investigation on the veteran officer a few days after the incident occurred.
Since June 10, Cpl. Palermo had been placed on administrative leave while an investigation was conducted by the Hays County District Attorney’s Office and by a prosecutor with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Cpl. Palermo is currently sitting in the Hays County Jail while he awaits magistration. He now faces “indefinite suspension” without pay and could receive up to life in prison for his charges.