SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) - A San Marcos police officer who allegedly injured a woman he was arresting in May has been suspended indefinitely without pay from the department.
The department completed their investigation and handed down the suspension to Cpl. James Palermo on Aug. 23.
Palermo was charged with aggravated assault a month and a half after the May 29 attack against 22-year-old Lexy Alpha. The criminal charges are now in the hands of the district attorney's office.
Palermo was upset after Alpha had walked through an area where the he was conducting a traffic stop, a suspension letter from San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams said. After an argument between the two broke out, Palermo told Alpha to turn around as he reached to grab her.
"You did not give her time to comply with your command, and you did not tell her of your intent to arrest her," Williams said. "Miss Alpha attempted to step back away from you, but you grabbed her upper torso and pushed her backwards against the trunk of (a parked) car. Immediately, you grabbed her behind the neck and forced her face first onto the driveway."
Alpha suffered a concussion, two broken teeth and bad bruising to her jaw as a result of the alleged assault.
The Hays County District Attorney's office has since dismissed all three charges against Alpha.
The letter to Palermo also references a March 15 event in which the officer reached around the back of a handcuffed man's neck with both hands before forcing him to the ground.
Williams said in the letter Palermo gave no commands or an explanation to the man before taking him to the ground. The use of force was a violation of the the department's general orders.
About two minutes later, Palermo applied his TASER to the man's back while he was handcuffed, also a violation of the department's general orders, according to the memo.
Palermo is appealing the suspension.
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