A woman punched in the face by a 19-year veteran Philadelphia police officer after a Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday is 'very angry,' but is unsure whether she will press charges.
Aida Guzman of Chester, Pennsylvania said she wants justice after being punched in the mouth by Highway Patrol Lt. Jonathan Josey.
Guzman speaks little English, but she made one thing clear: "I'm angry, very angry," she said.
Josey has been placed on administrative leave while Internal Affairs investigates.
Guzman was identified on a YouTube video that documented the incident. In it, you see Philadelphia Police on the scene defusing a situation when someone behind Guzman throws water on several officers.
Immediately you see an officer identified as Josey rush toward Guzman. The video shows him smacking her in the mouth, knocking her to the ground.
The crowd was stunned.
Guzman showed FOX 29 News in Philadelphia bruises to her mouth and arm. Her daughter translated as she described the ordeal.
"She's mad at the police of Philadelphia," her daughter said.
Guzman was cuffed and later cited for disorderly conduct.
But she told FOX 29 News she did nothing wrong and is shocked a decorated 19-year veteran of the force could do something like this.
On Monday, Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the department is investigating whether Guzman had a can of silly string in her hand.
John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, told reporters Josey is eager to tell his side of the story to internal investigators because there is more to what happened than the video shows.
“We’re hoping that it’s neither a whitewash nor a witch hunt,” McNesby said at a news conference Monday. “At the end of the day, his actions will be questioned, but I believe they can be defended.”
FOX 29 News stopped by Josey's Germantown apartment on Monday. There was no answer, so they left a message.
Guzman says she's not sure whether she will press charges, but she wants the lieutenant to be held responsible in some way.
"She said she don't wish him no bad," Guzman's daughter said, translating for her mother. "She don't wish … bad on nobody, but she wishes that something happens to him."
McNesby said that from what he understands about how things unfolded, police were trying to stop a driver who was “doing 360s” in the road.
“A guy was spinning wheels and burning tires in the middle of the (road), police are trying to stop it and ... as we’re doing it, things are being thrown, liquids are being tossed” at the officers by several people, he said.
McNesby said officers during such instances don’t know whether what’s being thrown on them is simply water, or whether it’s urine or chemicals, as has happened in the past.
“It’s great to sit back and read it online and look at video and second-guess yourself and Monday morning quarterback,” he said, “but again at the end of the day, we don’t know what’s coming at us.”
For more stories from Philadelphia go to myfoxphilly.com.
With reporting from The Associated Press.