Police: Cop arrested for assaulting man during Puerto Rican Day Parade

Officer Aquil Byrd
Officer Aquil Byrd, 32. (Credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

A Philadelphia police officer was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly assaulting a man during the Puerto Rican Day Parade in 2011.

Officer Aquil Byrd, 32, is a 12-year veteran last assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force.

Internal Affairs received a citizen complaint alleging Byrd assaulted a man on Sept. 25, 2011 during Puerto Rican Day Parade festivities on the 3000 block of North Front Street.

Officers were called to clear a large crowd from the street and sidewalk in front of a Chinese take-out restaurant.

That’s when the complainant encountered Byrd, touching off a verbal confrontation during which the men discussed “moving off the street,” according to prosecutors.

The man can be seen on surveillance video walking into the Chinese restaurant, followed about 20 seconds later by Byrd.

A release from the District Attorney’s Office said Byrd was caught on camera hitting the man in the face and grabbing him by the throat.

The man was not arrested or charged with any criminal offense on that date, according to investigators.

Byrd also did not document the incident.

He was later removed from the street and placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

The allegations were referred to the District Attorney’s Office in January 2013.

After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors found Byrd did act in a criminal manner, according to a statement.

He is charged with two misdemeanor offenses of simple assault and official oppression.

Byrd surrendered to Internal Affairs Wednesday.

He has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

Byrd is not the first cop to face charges in connection with Puerto Rican Day Parade festivities.

Philadelphia police Lt. Jonathan Josey was dismissed from the force in October 2012 after being accused of punching a woman during the 2012 Puerto Rican Day celebration.

Josey was also charged with simple assault in connection with the incident, but found not guilty following a trial in late February.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.