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New Jersey officer arrested for allegedly hitting pedestrian, then taking body home

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Posted at 7:41 PM, Nov 26, 2021

A police officer in New Jersey has been accused of fatally hitting a pedestrian with his car, briefly taking the man's body home with him to discuss what to do with it, then returning the body to the scene.

In a press release, acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens, II said Newark police officer Louis Santiago has been charged with reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating human remains, tampering with physical evidence, and other charges.

Stephens said that Santiago's passenger Albert Guzman and his mother Annette Santiago were also charged in the Nov. 1 incident.

Prosecutors said Santiago, who was off-duty, was driving his Honda Accord when he drifted into the shoulder striking 29-year-old Damian Z. Dymka.

According to the news release, neither Santiago nor Guzman called 911 or helped render aid to Dymka but returned to the scene several times before loading Dymka into the vehicle.

Stephens said they drove to Annette's home to discuss with Dymka before driving him back to the scene.

Santiago's father, a lieutenant with the Newark Police Department, called 911 to report that his son had been in an accident.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Dymka dead in the back seat of Santiago's car, prosecutors said.

According to the news release, all three suspects have been released with conditions.