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Cop's punch captured on video hits YouTube

Oct. 2, 2012 at 5:37 PM   |   Comments

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia police officer was reassigned, officials said, after a video allegedly showing him punching a woman while on duty appeared on the Internet.

The 35-second video, taken by cellphone and uploaded to YouTube, allegedly shows Lt. Jonathan Josey, a 19-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, striking a woman in the face during Sunday's Puerto Rican Day celebration, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday, noting it was shot during a street party that traditionally concludes the annual parade.

Josey, who is assigned to the highway patrol unit, has been placed on desk duty until the department's Internal Affairs bureau concludes its investigation. Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross called the video "disturbing," adding, "I'm not going to sit here and tell you I didn't have a reaction to it. It's of grave concern."

In the video, Josey allegedly strikes Aida Guzman, 39, of Chester, Pa., and Guzman is seen falling to the ground before being taken away in handcuffs, her face bloodied, the newspaper said.

Police said they believe Guzman can be seen in the video near a group of officers, and as someone in the crowd throws liquid in the air, she is holding what appears to be a bottle or can. As she walks away from the group, Josey walks toward her and knocks her to the ground with a blow to the face.

At home Monday, Guzman denied throwing anything and that she did not see Josey until he punched her, adding he then handed her a summons for disorderly conduct for throwing a water bottle at police.

"If she did it or if she didn't, he had no right to hit her like that," said Kay Guzman, 19, the alleged victim's daughter.

Aida Guzman, speaking in Spanish, said she did not wish Josey harm but wants to see him punished.

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