A 38-year-old Garden Grove officer was charged Wednesday with beating and threatening two homeless people on separate occasions while on duty, reports CBS Los Angeles News. 12-year-veteran Kevin Dinh was charged with four misdemeanor counts of attempted criminal threats, two misdemeanor counts of unlawful beating by a police officer, and two misdemeanor counts of simple battery.
According to prosecutors, the first incident took place last September after police received a call of homeless people refusing to leave the front of a restaurant. Dinh and another officer arrived on the scene and Dinh allegedly struck one of the men in the back of the head, twisted the man’s hand, and threatened to knock out the man’s teeth if he ever saw him again.
The second incident took place last October after police received a call of package theft. Dinh arrived at an Orange County Transit Authority bus stop and handcuffed a man. He then allegedly struck the man in the head and pulled his hair.
An officer who witnessed Dinh during one of the incidents reported Dinh to a supervisor. According to the D.A’s office, both incidents were caught on body cameras.
“The Garden Grove Police Department conducted an intensive criminal investigation and found two separate incidents involving Officer Dinh, where inappropriate use of force occurred,” the department. “The findings were submitted to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for their review and based on the investigation conducted by the Garden Grove Police Department, criminal charges were filed.”
Dinh has been placed on leave during an internal investigation.
“We will not tolerate this behavior on any members of our community,” Garden Grove Police Chief Tom DaRe said, according to the OC Register. “Everyone will be treated with dignity and respect.”
Kevin Dinh could face up to four years in jail if convicted. He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 21st.