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Police officer arrests innocent man after making up story about the man punching him in the face

By Mason White 12:14 PM January 1, 2016
Police Officer Jonathan Munoz 

By: Chan Yuan
(Scroll down for video) A police officer was arrested on a charge of unlawful arrest after allegedly making up a story about an innocent man punching him in the face, police in New York said.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced that New York City Police Officer Jonathan Munoz, 32, was arrested for unlawfully arresting a man and illegally searching a woman in Washington Heights.

He is also accused of filing falsified documents with the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to conceal the circumstances of the man’s arrest.

Munoz of Suffern, was charged with two counts each of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree and official misconduct, as well as one count of making a punishable false written statement.

“Had this officer’s attempts to conceal his alleged misconduct succeeded, an innocent man may still be facing charges for a fabricated crime,” said District Attorney Vance.

“Illegal searches and unlawful arrests go against the years of training each NYPD officer receives, erode the public’s confidence in law enforcement, and will be prosecuted by my Office’s Public Corruption Unit,” Vance added.

According to the police investigation, Munoz, a member of the NYPD since 2006, arrested a 21-year-old man near the corner of West 183rd Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue, while on patrol in the 34th Precinct.

Munoz claimed to both his NYPD supervisors and the Assistant District Attorneys screening the case that he arrested the man for interfering in the search and investigation of a 20-year-old woman whom he suspected of purchasing marijuana.

Munoz claimed in statements, as well as in paperwork filed with both the NYPD and the Manhattan DA’s Office, that the man entered a “fighting stance,” before lunging and swinging a fist at him.

However, surveillance video subsequently obtained from the arrest location revealed that not only had the man not engaged in those actions, but that Munoz had unlawfully searched the woman as she stood on the sidewalk.