SAN MARCOS, Texas -- A police officer in San Marcos is in jail after arresting a pedestrian who police say didn’t break the law.
Corporal James Angelo Palermo, 40, conducted a traffic stop on May 29 during his midnight shift patrol near 126 S. Guadalupe Street.
According to the arrest affidavit, Palermo stopped a Toyota Prius shortly after 1:00 a.m. for driving the wrong way on a one-way street and began questioning the driver.
A pedestrian walking by was called over by Palermo and asked why she was walking by his traffic stop. He then asked for the woman’s identification.
When the woman insisted she had done nothing wrong Palermo slammed her against the Prius; then onto the concrete driveway near his patrol car.
Palermo arrested the woman for obstruction. After his supervisors reviewed his report and talked to the pedestrian she was released.
Upon further investigation supervisors found the woman had lost two teeth and suffered a concussion during the illegal arrest.
Palermo was arrested for aggravated assault by a public servant. The woman is currently being treated for her injuries and could require further surgery, according to the affidavit.
The department issued the following statement:
"Cpl. James Palermo of the San Marcos Police Department was arrested Tuesday, July 16 and 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. Police Chief Howard Williams ordered an internal investigation on May 30.
Employed by the SMPD since 2000, Palermo has been on paid administrative leave since June 10 while the San Marcos Police Department conducted the investigation. The arrest was reviewed by the Hays County District Attorney’s Office and by a prosecutor with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Palermo was booked in the Hays County Law Enforcement Center Tuesday afternoon and awaits magistration."