Aberdeen Township Police Officer Philip M. Santiago, 34, has been arrested and charged with two counts of second degree official misconduct and related crimes in connection with separate actions he allegedly took while on duty earlier this year, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Sept. 1.
Santiago is also charged with second degree engaging in a pattern of official misconduct and two counts of fourth degree tampering with physical evidence, according to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
An investigation by the prosecutor’s office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Unit revealed that in January 2021, Santiago allegedly intentionally tampered with a law enforcement drug test he had been ordered to take, rendering the test unable to be processed.
The investigation further revealed that in May 2021, while on duty, Santiago allegedly deleted a video from a cell phone belonging to a suspect who was in custody, having
just been arrested by members of the Aberdeen Township Police Department.
The video depicted the interaction between the suspect and the police officers, leading up to the suspect’s arrest, according to the press release.
Santiago was sworn in as a police officer in 2018 after previously working as an
emergency dispatcher in Aberdeen Township.
Santiago turned himself in to authorities on Aug. 31, pending a first appearance in state Superior Court, Freehold. He has been suspended by the Aberdeen Township Police Department due to these charges, according to the press release.
If convicted on the charge of official misconduct, Santiago could face a state prison term of five to 10 years, according to the press release.