Local/State

Philadelphia cop seen punching woman on video ID'd

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A Philadelphia police officer is under investigation after being caught on video hitting a woman after this weekend's Puerto Rican Day Parade.

That officer, Lt. Jonathan Josey, 39, is assigned to Highway Patrol and is a 19 year veteran of the force.

A source who has seen Josey's file tells Action News he has roughly 20 internal affairs complaints, some for allegedly being physically and verbally abusive.

The video, which was shot after the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, was uploaded to YouTube the same day.

The woman who was hit is Aida Gusman, a 39-year-old domestic worker and mother of three from Chester, Pa.

The incident took place at 5th and Lehigh where a traditional after-party was taking place following the parade. Police had been called there for a man who was driving erratically.

The video begins with a number of officers on the scene for the traffic stop. Gusman can be seen jumping behind the officers with something in her hand.

A few moments into the video, an unidentified man behind Gusman throws a liquid at the gathered officers.

Gusman turns around in that direction, as does Lt. Josey, who is wearing a white shirt.

Lt. Josey then approaches Gusman and punches her in the face.

As the video continues, Gusman is seen being taken away by police with blood on her face.

Gusman was taken into custody on a disorderly conduct charge for throwing beer on police and was released. Gusman told Action News she went back to the party to reunite with her children.

Gusman denies throwing anything at police and says he had no idea why she was punched.

"I'm 40 years old. I don't have time to play games like that," Gusman said.

Lt. Josey has been removed from street duty pending an Internal Affairs investigation.

"We're just trying to get our arms around what happened in the response, beyond that, the rest is under investigation. We do not know whether there's something prior to that that would appear to justify his actions or after that, but right now, what we saw was a little disturbing," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross said.

Meanwhile, the Lewis family from Townsend, Delaware has emerged making other serious allegations against Lt. Josey.

"He is out of control and I don't even know how he is on the street after what he did to us," James Lewis said.

Lewis showed Action News photos of himself and two of his sons, bloody and bruised - they say at the hands of the highway patrol officer.

Lewis says he was driving along Erie Avenue near D Street in his Bentley when Lt. Josey pulled him over last summer.

His two sons were following behind in a pickup truck.

"I asked the question 'what did I get pulled over for' and he said 'I know your kind,'" Lewis said.

Lt. Josey allegedly called the 42-year-old a drug dealer, when in fact, Lewis owns several Philadelphia businesses, and neither he nor his sons have ever been convicted of a crime.

Lewis says Josey quickly became belligerent, cursing, especially towards his two sons who watched the police stop from their vehicle.

Lewis took offense and words were exchanged.

"At that point, I'm like 'these are my kids, you are being a little forceful with them.' He pulls his asp out and proceeds to start beating me," Lewis said.

Lewis says Josey then pulled his service weapon.

"He said 'don't be a hero. I already got one under my belt. Don't be another,'" Lewis said.

Lt. Josey likely was referring to the shooting death of an armed robber at 7-Eleven store in 2010.

Lt. Josey has been on the force for 20 years.

Sunday's punch was caught on camera, but as for the Lewis' allegations, they say Lt. Josey took their cell phones and haven't been seen since.

"He sort of gave the Philadelphia Police Department a bad name," James Lewis II said.

Lewis and his older son were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and other related charges.

The most serious crimes were thrown out by a judge for lack of evidence but have since been refiled.

The outrage for Sunday's incident, meanwhile, continues to mount in the Puerto Rican community with some leaders vowing to not let this quietly go away even as Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey promises a full investigation.

"I have seen the video several times and I'm just as outraged as everyone else in the community is," Quetcy Lozada, President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, said.

The Youtube video has now been viewed more than 200,000 times.

"We hope that Commissioner Ramsey understands how upset everyone is and that a full investigation is done," Lozada said.

Last week, Lt. Josey spoke to Action News about an unrelated story.

The Philadelphia Police Department is asking anyone that attended the festivities and witnessed the incident on 5th and Lehigh Avenue to call Internal Affairs at 215-685-5056.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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