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Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:31 PM

Off Duty Newark Police Officer kills pedestrian, takes body home to mom


A Newark police officer was charged with reckless vehicular homicide, prosecutors said on Wednesday, accusing the man of hitting a pedestrian with his personal car and briefly taking the body home, where he discussed with his mother what to do with it.

The officer, Louis Santiago of the Newark Police Department, was off duty when his Honda Accord drifted into the northbound shoulder of the Garden State Parkway around 3 a.m. on Nov. 1, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release issued on Wednesday. His car struck Damian Z. Dymka, 29, a nurse from Bergen County.



https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/25/nyregion/new-jersey-police-officer-car-home.html


Words fail me.

22 replies, 1754 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Off Duty Newark Police Officer kills pedestrian, takes body home to mom (Original post)
Danmel Nov 25 OP
sarcasmo Nov 25 #1
orleans Nov 26 #10
dalton99a Nov 25 #2
Wingus Dingus Nov 25 #3
KentuckyWoman Nov 25 #4
Grokenstein Nov 25 #5
johnp3907 Nov 25 #6
UnderThisLaw Nov 25 #7
Ron Green Nov 25 #8
Progressive Jones Nov 25 #9
BlackSkimmer Nov 26 #21
Progressive Jones Nov 26 #22
King_Klonopin Nov 26 #11
2naSalit Nov 26 #12
Larissa Nov 26 #14
Kaleva Nov 26 #16
Raine Nov 26 #13
Kaleva Nov 26 #15
FelineOverlord Nov 26 #17
RAB910 Nov 26 #18
peggysue2 Nov 26 #19
Nay Nov 26 #20

Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:34 PM

1. Mommy I have a question, what should we do with this body?

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Response to sarcasmo (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 01:25 AM

10. or "oh crap, mommy! i did it again! please don't be mad" nt

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:36 PM

2. "Mom, where is your recipe for dissolving this corpse?"

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:36 PM

3. What the hell did he think mom would do about it?

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:40 PM

4. The wrong in this is so deep. Where do you even start?

Even without the fact a sworn officer of the law still feels the need to ask his mommy what to do. There are just so many things wrong on this one.

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:42 PM

5. "Mother! Oh god, mother! Blood! Blood!"

"I'll just sit here and be quiet just in case they do suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching. They'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, 'Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly'."

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:46 PM

6. Insane.

https://m.&t=0h0m6s

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 10:54 PM

7. He's seen Goodfellas too many times

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 11:00 PM

8. Our "transportation system" is so easy for those in cars, and so dangerous to

those outside them, that disposing of the body is not only the focus of this guy’s activity but also that of this thread.

Our assumptions about driving (and walking) are rarely challenged.

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 11:26 PM

9. His Dad is brass on the same PD. nt

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Response to Progressive Jones (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 12:25 PM

21. To quote you on another thread: another region raises its ugly head. nt

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Response to BlackSkimmer (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 07:45 PM

22. Yeah, but NJ isn't a Red State. Red States are a huge problem. nt

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 01:27 AM

11. Nothing good ever happens at 3:00 a.m.

"Hey ma, you'll never guess what happened to me on the way home from work..."

At 3:00 a.m. one can assume he was coming home from a night of drinking.
It would explain the insane decision to take a dead body home, rather than call 911.

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Response to King_Klonopin (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 01:33 AM

12. That would be a best guess.

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Response to King_Klonopin (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 02:19 AM

14. The victim was wearing a werewolf costume

A bizarre and tragic story. The hour of the wolf, in folklore, is said to be between 3:00 and 5:00 A.M. It is simultaneously too early and too late for anything good to happen. Paywall bypass:


Newark Officer Hit a Pedestrian With His Car, Then Took the Body Home, Prosecutors Say
By Mike Ives and Alyssa Lukpat
The New York Times
Nov. 25, 2021

A Newark police officer was charged with reckless vehicular homicide, prosecutors said on Wednesday, accusing the man of hitting a pedestrian with his personal car and briefly taking the body home, where he discussed with his mother what to do with it.

The officer, Louis Santiago of the Newark Police Department, was off duty when his Honda Accord drifted into the northbound shoulder of the Garden State Parkway around 3 a.m. on Nov. 1, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release issued on Wednesday. His car struck Damian Z. Dymka, 29, a nurse from Bergen County.

Neither Mr. Santiago nor the passenger in his car, Albert Guzman, both 25, called 911 or rendered aid to Mr. Dymka, the prosecutor’s office said. Instead, Mr. Santiago drove away and returned to the scene multiple times before loading the victim into the Honda and driving to the home he shared with his parents in Bloomfield, N.J. The two men then discussed what to do with the body with Mr. Santiago’s mother, Annette Santiago, 53, according to prosecutors.

“There is an allegation that he went to his house and talked to his mother, but we cannot comment on that because we have seen no evidence of that to date,” a lawyer for Mr. Santiago, Patrick P. Toscano Jr., said in an interview on Thursday.

The prosecutor’s office said Mr. Santiago eventually returned to the scene. Mr. Santiago’s father, Lt. Luis Santiago of the Newark Police Department, called 911 at some point to report that his son had been in an accident.

When the state police arrived, they found Mr. Dymka’s body in the Honda’s back seat. He was pronounced dead at the scene around 4 a.m., said Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, adding that he had died of blunt force trauma.

Mr. Santiago was charged on Nov. 18, surrendered to the State Police on Tuesday and was arraigned the next day, according to Mr. Toscano. He said that Mr. Santiago had cooperated with the State Police.

In addition to vehicular homicide, Mr. Santiago faces charges including leaving the scene of a deadly accident, endangering an injured victim and two counts of official misconduct.

“We believe he has been tremendously overcharged here,” Mr. Toscano said. “There is maybe probable cause for two or three charges, certainly not 12 or 13.”

The Newark Police Department suspended Mr. Santiago, his lawyer said.

Mr. Toscano said that, in the early hours of Nov. 1, Mr. Santiago had recently finished a shift and was driving to a friend’s home. Mr. Toscano said Mr. Dymka had been walking against traffic in a werewolf costume, adding that it was not clear why he was walking along the highway.

That day, the State Police took a blood sample from Mr. Santiago and released him, Mr. Toscano said, adding that he had not seen any evidence that his client had been drinking before the crash.

The Newark Police Department on Thursday referred questions to the prosecutor’s office, which directed further questions to the State Police. A spokesman for the State Police did not immediately respond to questions about what took place in the weeks after Mr. Dymka died and before charges were filed.

Mr. Guzman and Ms. Santiago were also arrested, charged and released on conditions, the prosecutor’s office said.

They each face charges including hindering apprehension and conspiracy to desecrate human remains and tamper with physical evidence.

Mr. Guzman’s lawyer, Dennis Carletta, did not respond to emails or phone calls on Thursday. Mr. Santiago’s mother does not yet have a lawyer, Mr. Toscano said.

Ms. Carter, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said that Mr. Santiago’s father had not been charged and that, as of Thursday, “there’s not a basis” to file charges against him.

News of the charges was reported this week by the news site NJ.com and The New York Post.

Mr. Dymka was a nursing supervisor at the Preakness Healthcare Center in Wayne, N.J., according to the center’s website. A GoFundMe page organized after his death said that he had been a nurse before and during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alyssa Lukpat is a reporter covering breaking news for the Express desk. She is also a member of the 2021-22 New York Times fellowship class. @AlyssaLukpat

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Response to Larissa (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 04:17 AM

16. How often do police find a dead guy dressed up as a werewolf in the back seat of a car?

This may be a first in all of recorded history.

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 01:45 AM

13. WOW, hard to believe ANYONE could do such a thing!!! 😱 🙄 nt

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 04:13 AM

15. Another example of why Aliens have black-balled humans and won't contact us.

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 04:59 AM

17. So he was wearing a werewolf costume

For Halloween and somehow wandered onto the Parkway in the middle of the night? I have NEVER seen a pedestrian on that particular highway.

So much to unpack here.

I just drove by that nurse’s place of work yesterday. 🥺

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 07:52 AM

18. The Garden State Parkway is a restricted highway

no one is supposed to be walking on it. That particular stretch of the highway is not even accessible to pedestrians. There is a lot of strange involved.

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Response to Danmel (Original post)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 09:46 AM

19. This is one of the most bizarre stories I've read

And there have been a lot of bizarre stories out there! As for the officer? How easy would it have been to simply call 911, do the right thing?

The world is definitely turned upside down.

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Response to peggysue2 (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 26, 2021, 12:07 PM

20. Well, exactly. Call 911, stay at the scene. If he had done so, there would likely be

no charges at all unless he was falling-down drunk. The man he hit was in a (likely) black costume and was walking on a highway that prohibited pedestrians.

But since his father is a cop, I can see how this guy got his job, even though he has terrible judgement.

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