New Jersey

Body Cam Footage Shows Trenton Officers Accused of Assaulting Man During Arrest

The officers are charged with aiding and abetting one another to deprive a man of his civil rights.

What to Know

  • Trenton Police Officer Drew Inman and ex-officer Anthony Villanueva are accused of assaulting a man who was complying with their demands.
  • NBC10 obtained body cam footage of the incident.
  • Villanueva also faces charges in connection to another incident in which he allegedly pepper sprayed a defendant in a holding cell.

Body cam footage was released of two Trenton Police officers who are accused of assaulting a man while they were arresting him even though he complied with their demands.

Trenton Police Officer Drew Inman, 25, of Hamilton, New Jersey, and former Trenton Police Officer Anthony Villanueva, 25, of Ewing, New Jersey, are charged in a six-count indictment that was handed up last Thursday by a federal grand jury and unsealed Tuesday.

Both men are charged with aiding and abetting one another to deprive a man of his civil rights. Villanueva is charged with two counts of obstruction while Inman is charged with one count of obstruction in connection to the incident.

The counts against both officers stem from a traffic stop on April 9, 2017, in Trenton.

Authorities say the driver involved in the stop fled in his vehicle and then on foot as officers pursued. The man was eventually surrounded by the officers and complied when he was ordered to put his hands in the air, officials said.

While the man complied with further police demands, Villanueva punched him in the face and Inman tackled him to the ground, according to investigators.
Body cam footage obtained by NBC10 shows the man on the ground and crying out in pain while officers are on top of him.

The man tells the officers, “Stop hitting me in my face."

Investigators say Inman and Villanueva prepared and submitted false and fraudulent reports in order to justify their actions and portray the man as the aggressor and an ongoing threat. 

Villanueva’s attorney, Jerome Ballarotto, insists his client didn’t punch the man however.

“Swung his arm around his neck and brought him to the ground,” he said. “That’s what the video shows. There’s no evidence that he was punched at that side of his face.”

The man who the officers arrested is no longer in jail and his eluding and obstruction charges were later dropped.

Villanueva was fired by Trenton police last summer for an alleged pattern of excessive force.

He is also charged with additional civil rights and obstruction counts in connection to a separate incident in November 2017. Investigators said he pepper sprayed a defendant while in a holding cell area of Trenton police headquarters. He allegedly later completed an incident report that contained numerous false statements to conceal his conduct.

On Tuesday, Villanueva was arrested by the FBI at his home. They also took Officer Inman into custody at Trenton police headquarters.

“All the gun-toting drug dealers in Trenton are all gonna be happy tonight that Anthony’s no longer a police officer,” Ballarotto said.

The attorney argued that Trenton Police leave their officers “unequipped” far too often.

“He didn’t have a baton. He didn’t have a flashlight. He didn’t have a taser,” he said. “He only had three things. That’s his gun, his physical strength and his courage.”

Villanueva and Inman appeared in federal court Tuesday. They both face more than 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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