TRENTON — Two Trenton police officers have been charged with civil rights violations and obstruction of justice for assaulting a man during an arrest, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced Tuesday.
One of the officers, who has since left the department, faces additional civil rights and obstruction counts for assaulting a prisoner in a holding cell at Trenton police headquarters, he said.
Officer Drew Inman, 25, of Hamilton, and former Officer Anthony Villanueva, 25, of Ewing, are charged in a six-count indictment handed up Thursday by a federal grand jury and unsealed Tuesday. It wasn’t known if either man had retained an attorney.
The federal charges against the officers stem from an April 2017 traffic stop in Trenton.
Authorities said the driver tried to run off but was soon surrounded by police. As the man was complying with the officer’s commands, Villanueva allegedly punched him in the face and Inman allegedly tackled him. The two officers then punched the man numerous times while he cried out in pain, authorities said.
Afterward, the officers prepared and submitted false reports portraying the victim as the aggressor and an ongoing threat, according to authorities.
The second incident involving Villanueva allegedly occurred in November 2017, while he was working in the holding cell area of Trenton police headquarters. Authorities say he pepper sprayed a prisoner and later filed an incident report that contained numerous false statements designed to conceal his conduct.