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San Diego police officer resigns after getting locked in back of patrol car with detainee

The police officer turned off his body camera when the female arrestee began making advances at him.
SDPD body cam video.png
Posted at 8:54 AM, May 29, 2024

A San Diego police officer resigned after becoming locked in the back of a patrol car with a female detainee.

According to a document released by the San Diego Police Department, the incident began when officer Anthony Hair responded to an incident in which two suspected car thieves were arrested on the evening of Aug. 14, 2023.

Hair transported the female suspect to SDPD's downtown headquarters for processing before being assigned to transport her to Northern Division.

From there, Hair was tasked with taking the woman to Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee.

In the document, investigators detailed a recorded conversation on Hair's body-worn camera. The arrestee asked Hair if he was married and whether he was single. "Why are you asking that," Hair responded.

“You’re not too bad. What’s it gonna hurt me if I work the system, you know what I mean?" the woman responded. After being asked whether he was single, Hair reminded the woman she was not single.

Later in the conversation, investigators said they heard the woman's voice saying, “I’m down to [expletive],” to which Hair replied, “Don’t say that right now. No, I said don’t say that right now because everything’s being recorded right now.”

The document states that Hair parked "within two blocks of the Las Colinas Detention Facility." Hair is also accused of turning his body camera off as there is no video of the incident once Hair parked.
  
Around 1:35 a.m., Hair called for assistance after he locked himself in the caged back seat of his patrol vehicle in the 10300 block of Park Avenue in Santee.

Investigators say Hair texted an SDPD colleague and asked him to meet at the location. Per investigators, Hair told the colleague he would explain the situation later and that he was embarrassed.  

Roughly one hour later, a supervisor responded to unlock the vehicle.

According to investigators, Hair said he was checking the prisoner’s pulse during what he believed was a medical emergency and the door shut. He claimed he thought the woman was overdosing and was checking on her when the door accidentally closed.

The arrestee “was interviewed and denied any allegations of assault.” A test for semen on Hair's belt came back presumptive positive.

An investigation concluded Hair “failed to record the entirety of his transportation of a female prisoner from headquarters to Northern Division” and “from Northern Division to Las Colinas Detention Facility.”

Hair also “failed to notify emergency medical services when he suspected his prisoner was experiencing a medical emergency.”

He “intentionally obscured the view of his body worn camera when he removed the camera from his uniform mount," investigators stated.

Hair “was not truthful in all matters related to his duties, which include his police radio broadcasts, information in his written police report, and statements he made to Department investigators.”

Hair resigned on Sept. 14, 2023, according to police. Officials recently made the information public.

See the department's full statement below:

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) holds its officers to the highest professional standards. SDPD takes all allegations of misconduct seriously. Mr. Hair’s actions do not represent the values of the San Diego Police Department.

As soon as the Department became aware of the incident involving Mr. Hair, he was removed from the field, and the investigation began. The Department’s Internal Affairs Unit fully investigated the incident.

Before the investigation could be completed, Mr. Hair resigned and is no longer employed by the San Diego Police Department. Regardless of employment status, SDPD continues all internal investigations to completion.

In accordance with California Senate Bill 16, SDPD publicly posted the full investigation to the department’s website on May 3, 2024: https://www.sandiego.gov/police/data-transparency/mandated-disclosures/sb16-sb1421-ab748 [sandiego.gov].

Senate Bill 2 mandates that law enforcement report qualifying misconduct cases to the California Peace Officer Standards Accountability Board. This Board determines if the officer’s Peace Officer Certification in the State of California will be suspended or revoked. Once SDPD learned of the allegations, the Department immediately notified the Board, so they could begin this process. SDPD is awaiting the outcome of the Board’s finding on the case.

Click here to view the videos released by San Diego Police.

This story was originally published by Zac Self at Scripps News San Diego.