Police officer accused of hitting pedestrian, taking the body home

Louis Santiago, of the Newark Police Department, has been charged with reckless vehicular homicide and desecrating human remains as he allegedly hit a man with his personal car and took the body home where he discussed what to do with his mother.

fter Santiago had completed a shift early on November 1st, he was driving his personal Honda Accord to a friend’s house around 3 am northbound on the Garden State Highway, he traveled into the right shoulder and struck Damian Z. Dymka, a 29-old-year-old nurse from Bergen County. Dymka was walking against traffic in a werewolf costume, he said.

Santiago nor his passenger (both 25), Albert Guzman, of Newark, gave aid to the victim or called 911, prosecutors allege. Instead, they returned to the scene before taking the body to Santiago’s home in Bloomfield where he allegedly discussed with his mother, Annette Santiago, what to do with the body.

But Santiago’s father, a lieutenant with the Newark Police Department, called 911 and reported that his son had been in an accident, after which the New Jersey State Police later found the victim in the back seat of Santiago’s car.

His friend Guzman, and his mother Annette have both been charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains, hindering apprehension, and conspiracy to hinder apprehension and tamper with physical evidence.

“There is an allegation that he went to his house and talked to his mother, but we cannot comment on that because we have seen no evidence of that to date,” said Patrick P. Toscano Jr., a lawyer for Louis Santiago.

Santiago has also been charged with leaving the scene of a deadly accident, endangering an injured victim and two counts of official misconduct.

All three have been released with conditions. A news release was posted on Facebook.