The images are disturbing. A decorated Philadelphia police lieutenant from the elite Highway Patrol caught on tape taking a swing at a woman during the celebration after Sunday's Puerto Rican Day parade. It immediately stirred controversy.
"It was just plain wrong you know, he didn't know what was going on so he just hit the first person he seen," said one eyewitness to the incident.
The lieutenant is Jonathan Josey, a 19 year veteran of the force. He was on duty with dozens of other officers during a car stop at 5th and Lehigh when someone threw water on the officers. As at least two videos show, Josey, in the white shirt, turns and strikes an unidentified woman in the head. She immediately went to the ground. She was arrested and hauled away. Her face bloodied.
"An investigation is underway, and we'd be remiss if we didn't say it gives us a little concern," said Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
"The cop thought she throwed the water on him, but it wasn't it was some body else," said Charles Green, who also saw the incident.
Josey has been with Highway Patrol for years. Back in 2010, he was given a bravery award by the Citizen Crime Commission after he interrupted an armed robbery on the Main Line while off duty. The suspect was shot to death by Josey, who was cleared by the Montgomery County DA in the shooting.
Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby says there's more to this latest incident.
"If you look at that video and slow it down you can see there's a hand motion with that girl spraying something or shooting something at the officers," McNesby.
"He's actually an excellent lieutenant who's done a lot of good things and again he's due his day," Commissioner Ross said.
Make him an example," said Jose Colon. "You can't be doing that."
Josey has actually done several anti violence videos and was a bit player in the movie Law Abiding Citizen. He just returned from volunteer duty at the Democratic National Convention, where he helped escort dignitaries. He has risen in the ranks at Highway Patrol from patrol officer to sergeant and now lieutenant.
Freeze warnings posted Tuesday night into Wednesday AM. Protect sensitive plants!