Two San Marcos police officers have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Corporal James Palermo is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant and Officer David Amerson is accused of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.
Both officers are on administrative leave and still receiving payroll. However, now that formal charges have been filed, both are expected to be fired by next week.
Chief Howard Williams responded to the drug and excessive forces charges July 17.
"It's personally painful to think any officer, much less ones under my command would engage in this kind of conduct," Williams said.
The back-to-back arrests involve unrelated incidents.
The first case involves Palermo, in which he allegedly threw a woman to the ground, breaking her teeth and causing a concussion after she walked on the scene of a traffic stop in May. According to court documents, Palermo claimed the Texas State student was obstructing his work.
"He was without probable cause to make any arrest in this situation and his use of force was completely unreasonable and without legal justification," Williams said.
The woman was taken to the hospital, and although later released she continues to receive medical treatment. According to Chief Williams, dash cam videos show the woman did nothing wrong except to get into an argument with Palermo.
"I'm not satisfied with any explanation he had to offer when he was arrested," Williams said.
Palermo was arrested July 16, following a month-long internal investigation. Palermo was sued two years ago for excessive force but won that case.
The second arrest happened the morning of July 17 at the Hays County Jail, where another San Marcos Police officer traded his badge. Amerson surrendered to authorities after two warrants were issued for his arrest due to the accusation in which he allegedly obtained controlled substances by fraud. Williams could not provide details as to why Amerson was collecting painkillers.
"I'm not allowed to discuss medical issues but no it was not an on the job injury," Williams said.
According to court records, Amerson was relieved of duty in late May after an investigation was launched by the Hays County Drug Task Force and DPS. He was allegedly receiving prescriptions from several doctors and filling them in Austin, San Marcos and San Antonio.
Both men are free on bond.