Friend of Hero Cop DeCoatsworth Threatens to Kill Rape Victim: Sources

Man arrested for witness intimidation, law enforcement sources say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The latest information as of 11 a.m. on this breaking news story from NBC10's Katy Zachry. (Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013)

    A man has been arrested for threatening to kill a woman who was allegedly raped by former hero Philadelphia Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth.

    Law enforcement sources tell NBC10.com Manuel Maldonado was arrested Tuesday for allegedly intimidating one of the victims.

    Maldonado, a friend of DeCoatsworth's, allegedly went to the home of one of the women involved in the former officer's rape case, knocked on her door and pointed a gun at the victim and her mother, according to sources.

    The 25-year-old then allegedly told the woman he would kill her if she testified against DeCoatsworth.

    DeCoatsworth allegedly forced two women to take drugs and perform oral sex on him at gunpoint on May 18. Two weeks earlier, police say, he also forced one of those women into prostitution at the Days Inn hotel in the Lawncrest section of Philadelphia.

    The former officer also allegedly assaulted his live-in girlfriend in a May 9th incident at his home along the 2700 block of Salmon Street in the Port Richmond section of the city, according to authorities.

    The 27-year-old is charged with 32 crimes and is being held on a uncharacteristically-high bail of $60 million.

    DeCoatsworth was honored as a Top Cop in 2008 for chasing after a suspect who shot him in the face. Police say he radioed in enough identifiable information about the suspect -- during the chase and before collapsing -- to help other officers catch the shooter.

    The officer’s heroism earned him an invitation to sit next to First Lady Michelle Obama during President Barack Obama’s first congressional address at the U.S. Capitol.

    DeCoatsworth retired from the police force on disability in December 2011.

    Philadelphia Police took Maldonado into custody Tuesday night and questioned him at the department’s Special Victims Unit in West Kensington.

    Court records show Maldonado has a long criminal history including drug possession. He pled guilty to several drug and conspiracy charges in 2007 and was sentenced to a minimum of one year and a half in prison.

    Maldonado was also arrested and charged in 2006 with burglary, making terroristic threats and assault. Those charges were later dismissed.

    A bench warrant was also issued for the man for a probation violation in 2012.

    Maldonado is expected to be charged and arraigned later Wednesday.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.


    Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.