This type of scenario is often what happens when “concerned citizens” are allowed to “see something, say something” about anything they want anonymously, even if they’re flat out lying.
A Carmel, California resident called the police, because he saw someone “acting suspicious” in his neighbor’s home. The thing is, the guy who was in his neighbor’s home was actually the homeowner himself, a Captain in the Air Force, Nicolas Aquino. I don’t know how he was “acting suspicious” in his own home. Perhaps he was looking for something, and it looked like he was a burglar.
Whatever the case, the phone call prompted Monterey County police to investigate this man as a burglary suspect, who’s now being charged with “resisting arrest” and “obstruction of a peace officer.” NBC News affiliate KSBW reported:
It happened last December. Aquino was at home when a deputy arrived and began treating him like a burglary suspect.
A neighbor had called 911 and reported seeing a man walking around the house suspiciously.
“All he said was, ‘I need to see your ID.’ At that moment I’m like, ‘Excuse me sir, but who are you? And why are you here?” Aquino told KSBW.
“He says it again, I have to produce identification. At that moment I asked him, ‘Am I being detained?’ He said, ‘Yes,’ and so I said, ‘OK, then my name is Nicolas Aquino. I live right here. I’m in the military,'” Aquino said. Aquino eventually pulled out his wallet to show his military identification card but didn’t hand it over.
According to the deputy’s account in the sheriff’s incident report, “The male then pulled his hand away from me, thereby moving the card away from my hand. I decided at that point I would detain him physically and place him into handcuffs.”
“That’s when he grabs my wrist, puts me in a front guillotine, slams my head into the ground and spins around and does a rear naked choke, so he puts me in a choke hold,” Aquino said.
In the incident report, the deputy wrote that while sitting on top of Aquino and with his hands around his head, “I yelled at the male to put his hands out to his sides. The male never complied. He was beginning to draw them in closer to the center of his body. Afraid that the male was going to reach for a weapon, I contemplated disengaging from him, drawing my own firearm and taking aim.” ”I physically can’t move, I’m not resisting,” Aquino told KSBW.
Aquino was handcuffed and eventually released after he showed the deputy bills with his name and address on it.
He was never armed with a weapon and was never arrested.
More than seven weeks after the incident, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Monterey County District Attorney prosecutors are pressing misdemeanor charges against Aquino for resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer. Aquino has a pretrial hearing on Wednesday.
In addition to being an Air Force captain, Aquino is also a student at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. The Air Force captain said he didn’t find out about the arrest warrant until his Naval Post Graduate School supervisor called him and said he was not allowed back on campus until he dealt with the charges pending against him. Aquino’s lawyer asked the Monterey County District Attorney to drop the charges, but was told it wasn’t going to happen. The entire ordeal, Aquino said, has put his military career in jeopardy.
Aquino is a first-generation American whose parents fled Paraguay after receiving death threats from the military there. Now, I’m sure Aquino is finding out the hard way that America isn’t the “land of the free” that his parents thought it was when they fled here for asylum.
Here’s the news footage if you’re interested.
Capt. Aquino was actually used in a promotional video for the Air Force: