PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MARYLAND — A former Prince George’s County police officer who pointed his gun at the head of a terrified victim and challenged him to fight was convicted of first-degree assault on Wednesday.
Jenchesky Santiago is facing up to 45 years in prison after he was also found guilty of second-degree assault, misconduct in office, and the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence following the incident in May last year.
Victim William Cunningham complained to police that he was being dropped off by his cousin outside his house when Santiago pulled up alongside and accused them of parking illegally, the Washington Post reported.
When Cunningham got out of the car and tried to go into his house, Santiago ran after him and drew his gun.
Cunningham’s cousin filmed the incident on his cellphone as Santiago pointed the gun at the victim’s head and challenged him to fight.
Prosecutors argued in court that Santiago was trying to impress two friends from New Jersey who were riding along in his police cruiser unauthorized.
“We think, unfortunately, what happened is that he was showing off for his friends,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.