A Delaware County police officer has been arrested after allegedly assaulting two people at a SEPTA trolley station and altering a police report about the incident, the District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.
Sharon Hill Officer Stephen J. Capizzi, 27, of Collingdale, was charged with simple assault, harassment, making false reports, and tampering with public records. He was released on bail, and efforts to reach him for comment were not successful. Calls to the Police Department were not returned.
According to court documents, Capizzi was at the police station on Dec. 5 when he told other officers he was going to buy cigarettes. Minutes later, he called in and said he needed assistance at the SEPTA trolley station on Chester Pike.
Capizzi had stopped two young men at the station and begun to search them, asking, "Where's the weed?"
When Capizzi told Rashaun Williams, who was standing nearby, to put his hands up against a wall and began searching him, Williams' companion, Aneerah Lee, complained. She and Williams had just left work, were waiting for a trolley and were doing nothing wrong, she said.
According to police, Capizzi then grabbed Lee, shook her, and threw her to the ground as other officers arrived. He put his entire weight on her as he handcuffed her, police said.
Capizzi then tried to "body slam" Williams to the ground before handcuffing his arms behind his back, police said. Capizzi also punched Williams in the stomach, they said.
Lee was treated at Delaware County Memorial Hospital for superficial cuts and a sprained arm. She and Williams filed complaints with the District Attorney's Office.
An incident report Capizzi filed on Dec. 5 said he received a call at the police station about disorderly people at the trolley station. On Dec. 13, Capizzi altered the report to say he observed the disturbance, according to police.
This is not the first time Capizzi has been before a judge.
In 2002, according to public records, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and, in a separate case, pleaded guilty to purchasing alcohol by a minor.
In 2004, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for fighting. He also was charged in a separate case with driving under the influence. In that case, Capizzi was able to enter a first-time offender's program.