- The Washington Times - Monday, January 11, 2016

A former Prince George’s County, Maryland, police officer, was sentenced to five years in prison without parole Friday after being caught on camera holding a gun to the head of a Bowie man who had been trying to enter his own home.

Jenchesky Santiago, 26, was convicted in December of first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and two counts of misconduct in the office related to a May 2014 incident. He was sentenced to the mandatory minimum prison term of five years after having faced upwards of 45 years behind bars.

“Mr. Santiago violated the rights afforded to Mr. Cunningham and every citizen of Prince George’s County and no citizen should ever suffer such disrespect,” said Angela Alsobrooks, the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County. “Mr. Santiago’s actions that day and the fact that he continues to show no remorse for what he did and believes that the victims should actually apologize to him, shows that he had no business serving in our police department.”

Cellphone video of the 2014 altercation showed Santiago drawing his department-issued handgun and holding it to the head of William Cunningham, a Bowie resident who had been parked outside of his own home.

“I dare you to [expletive] fight me, son,” the officer was heard saying in the video.

In a recorded phone conversation that took place after last month’s conviction, Santiago told his mother that Mr. Cunningham should have to apologize, “because all he wanted was a payday.”

Santiago “described the fact that not only was he not remorseful and had no intention of apologizing in this case but still believed even after this case that he was owed an apology from the victim,” Ms. Alsobrooks said, WTOP reported.

“It kind of didn’t sit well with me to hear that he was not apologetic, or had no remorse,” Mr. Cunningham told reporters Friday outside of a courthouse in Upper Marlboro. “I did think that he may shoot me, or my life may have been in jeopardy.”

Santiago was fired from the Prince George’s County police department last month and will likely be dishonorably discharged from the Navy, where he serves as a reservist, his lawyer told WTOP.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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