A Philadelphia police detective turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday after allegedly breaking a man leg and dumping him on the side of the road while on duty earlier this month.
Prosecutors say detective Adam O’Donnell was escorting 35-year-old Theodore Life Jr. out of the Philadelphia police department’s Hunting Park Avenue Special Victims Unit’s on Feb. 3.
They say the officer waited until he was out of sight of security cameras before he grabbed and kicked Life in the knee, causing him to fall to the ground unable to stand with a fractured femur.
O’Donnell, a 9-year veteran of the force who worked in the unit, then allegedly used an unmarked police vehicle to take Life to a road in the city’s Hunting Park section, where he dumped him.
“He held me in the cell for two hours for no reason. Then [he] kicked my leg for no reason. He assaulted me,” Life said. “[He said] ‘What are you gonna do? There are no cameras out here.'”
Life was latter taken by his father to Albert Einstein Medical Center and then to Abington Memorial Hospital for ongoing treatment, and continues to walk with a limp, prosecutors say.
O’Donnell now faces charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, kidnapping, unlawful restrains, obstructing administration of law and official oppression.
Police say he has received a 30 day suspension from the department with the intent to remove him from his position.
“A senseless attack on one Philadelphian is an attack on all Philadelphians,” District Attorney Seth Williams said. “I also hope that by charging Mr. O’Donnell he not only understands the severity of his crime but is reminded that when law enforcement does something to clearly hurt a complainant it will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Predictably, the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of police say they don’t believe O’Donnell should be charged with anything.
“It’s one word against another. For him to be charged is ludicrous,” FOP president John McNesby said. “He’s out there doing the job every day and he’s a mild mannered officer. There’s nothing here that leads me to believe that any of this is true.”
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