A California district attorney announced Monday that his office would drop charges against a U.S. Air Force captain who had been charged when a police officer mistook him for a possible robber in his own home.
“A jury would be very likely to assess this case as an unfortunate misunderstanding between the two men and not a criminal offense,” Dean Flippo said.
According to KSBW-TV, captain Nicolas Aquino was tackled and arrested in his own home in December. A neighbor had dialed 911 to report a suspicious man walking around the house, not knowing Aquino was the legal resident.
“All he said was, ‘I need to see your ID.’ At that moment I’m like, ‘Excuse me sir, but who are you? And why are you here?” Aquino told KSBW.
“He says it again, I have to produce identification. At that moment I asked him, ‘Am I being detained?’ He said, ‘Yes,’ and so I said, ‘OK, then my name is Nicolas Aquino. I live right here. I’m in the military,’” Aquino said.
WATCH: U.S. Air Force video detailing Aquino’s service:
Several weeks after the incident, a warrant was issued for his arrest and the airman was charged with obstructing a peace officer.
Prosecutors, however, dropped charges based on a “number of considerations.”
“The review, conducted by several experienced prosecutors, came to the conclusion that the deputy sheriff had lawfully detained Captain Aquino as a burglary suspect,” a statement said.
“On the other hand, Captain Aquino had done nothing wrong and was surprised to find himself suspected of burglary. He also misunderstood the right of a peace officer to detain a suspect to protect the community and insure that a crime was not underway,” it added.
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