Police: Cop punched wife, chased her down, and caused crash

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An on-duty Philadelphia police officer punched his wife and then chased her down in a patrol car with the lights and sirens activated, causing her car to crash into another vehicle early Tuesday morning in West Philadelphia, police said Thursday.

Officer Antonio Mayhew, 30, a 10-year veteran of the department assigned to the First District in South Philly, faces at least 12 charges including aggravated assault, terroristic threats, misapplication of entrusted property, and official oppression.

“It is probably one of the most irresponsible and outlandish things I’ve heard of from a police officer in a long time, said Commissioner Richard Ross.

Mayhew has been suspended from the department for 30 days with the intent to dismiss, police said.

According to police, around 1:45 a.m. while on duty in a marked police car, Mayhew left his assignment in South Philadelphia and went to the 5200 block of Market Street in West Philadelphia, where he punched his wife in the head while she sat in the driver’s seat of her car.

Following the alleged assault, Mayhew’s wife drove away and he pursued her with his lights and sirens on, authorities said.

During the chase, Mayhew’s wife struck another car at 61st and Walnut Streets, injuring the driver, who was hospitalized but later released. A police spokesman said Mayhew’s wife sustained non-life-threatening injuries and did not require treatment.

Ross said Mayhew stopped at the crash site and told the injured driver he would return to help, but didn’t. He said Mayhew subsequently returned to his assignment to finish his shift.

Ross said police learned of Mayhews alleged conduct only after a witness reported it. Officers subsequently investigated, and Ross said they found surveillance video showing the alleged assault and chase.

“You leave your area of responsibility — which is obviously gross negligence in and of itself — and then you go and assault an individual, and then you abuse your police power, Ross said. “It is absolutely reprehensible.”

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