BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield police officer facing felony assault and vandalism charges allegedly punched a man then kicked him while he was down, breaking multiple bones, according to a court filing.
The man reported Officer Damian Romero also smashed lights and a side mirror on his vehicle, causing more than $800 in damage, according to a probable cause declaration that became available Monday. The man was treated at Mercy Hospital for four broken ribs and a broken left wrist.
Romero, 43, was charged last week with felony battery inflicting serious bodily injury and vandalism with damage more than $400. His arraignment is scheduled Aug. 31.
According to police and the probable cause declaration, Romero was off duty and walking his dog when hit by a vehicle that left the scene in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Valleyview Drive, in northeast Bakersfield. He found the vehicle and confronted the driver.
Romero, listed as 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, admitted pushing the man to the ground, according to the declaration. There were no witnesses or video footage of the incident.
Police said Romero is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.