According to court documents, a Newark cop was reportedly drunk and on his cellphone when he fatally hit a nurse with his car and then took the body to his parents’ home.
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Louis Santiago, 25, of Bloomfield, was slapped with negligent vehicular manslaughter, human remains, DWI and other charges after he struck Damian Dimka, 29, of Garfield, on the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway around 3 a.m. on Nov. said.
The off-duty officer loaded the nurse’s body into his car and took it to his parents’ Bloomfield home, where his mother, Annette Santiago, 53, reportedly asked her to return the body “where you hit it.” Was,” NJ.com reportedCiting an affidavit of probable cause.
Santiago’s attorney, Patrick Toscano, said Dimka was wearing a werewolf Halloween costume and was walking on a dark stretch of highway when he was killed.
He admitted that Santiago had been drinking at a local bar, but not to the point of intoxication or infirmity, adding that the police believed Diemka was still alive after killing him and that he wanted to get help. Took it to his car.
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“It was a terrible, terrible accident,” Toscano told NJ Advance Media on Monday. “But our client didn’t see him. He first thought that he had killed some deer or animal. Then when he realized that it was a man, he tried to take his help.”
The lawyer didn’t explain why his client didn’t just call 911 for help.
According to the affidavit, Santiago also removed evidence of text messages and calls from his phone before handing it over to state police, NJ.com said.
Referring to the 25-year-old Newark officer and his passenger, Albert Guzmán, the affidavit said, “(He) never called 911 or provided assistance, but (Santiago) loaded Vic in the back seat.” Returned to the scene several times before doing it.”
Toscano said investigators provided no evidence that his client deleted anything or that he was talking or texting at the time of the accident.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said last week that Santiago’s father, a Newark police lieutenant, called state police to tell him that his son had hurt someone in the accident.
According to the affidavit, the suspect discussed changing his clothes after the accident and said, “I have blood on my F-shirt.”
Santiago’s mother and Guzmán have been charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains, obstructing and preventing apprehension, and tampering with physical evidence.
The officer is also charged with the charges of leaving the scene of the accident, resulting in death, endangering the injured victim, obstructing his apprehension, conspiracy to obstruct the prosecution, tampering with material evidence, obstructing the administration of law and official misconduct. have to face.