A Philadelphia police officer was charged this morning with assault and making terroristic threats in connection with an incident Oct. 20, 2013, in South Philadelphia.
Officer Edward Sawicki III was backing up his vehicle about 2:45 a.m. on the 1300 block of South 9th Street when he struck a man, hitting him in the knee. The man, 37, pounded on the trunk of Sawicki's vehicle to alert the off-duty officer that he had hit him. Sawicki got out of his car, pulled up his shirt to display a handgun, and rushed at the man yelling racial epithets and threatening to kill him, said a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's office in a statement.
According to investigators, Sawicki, a nine-year veteran, threatened the man, saying "N--, I'll smoke you," while keeping his hand on the holstered gun. The man immediately called police, Sawicki was identified as an off-duty 25th District police officer, and Sawicki's gun, which was his city-issued firearm, was confiscated, said spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson.
Sawicki surrendered himself to authorities this morning. In addition to charges of simple assault and making terroristic threats, he was charged with harassment, possession of an instrument of crime, and disorderly conduct, Jamerson said. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has suspended Sawicki for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.