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APD texting scandal: Officer brags about kicking murder suspect in head during arrest

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe defends his angry outburst over the police racist text scandal
Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe defends his angry outburst over the police racist text scandal 06:55

ANTIOCH --  The Contra Costa County District Attorney's office released a second batch of racist and controversial phone texts allegedly exchanged between Antioch police officers during Operation Windstar, a major Bay Area gang crackdown in 2021.

Operation Windstar began following a January 2020 shooting in Oakland which was linked to a firearm collected months later in Antioch.

The latest batch released included texts exchanged between Officer Eric Rombough with Officers Brock Marcotte, Timothy Manly Williams, Scott Duggar, and an unidentified individual as they closed in on Terryonn Pugh and Armonie Pugh, parolees-at-large who were hiding out in an apartment complex in American Canyon.

Terryonn Pugh was taken into custody as he tried to flee to a waiting vehicle. Armonie Pugh was taken into custody inside the apartment.

They were among 48 gang members and associates arrested on April 15, 2021 for murder, attempted murder and illegal guns following a six-month investigation involving 24 Bay Area agencies.  

Rombough group texted that Terryonn Pugh was captured in a backyard.

"Murder suspect. In custody and that a..hole made me run" -- Rombough texted.

"Good thing you fast honey" -- the unidentified respondent texted.

"He was way faster then us" -- Rombough texted.

"LOL, still got him, so not fast enough" -- the unidentified respondent texted.

"We managed to set up a perimeter and he got his a.. whooped in the backyard and I field goal kicked his head -- Rombough texted.

"I thought that was a no no" -- the unidentified respondent texted.

"No we can do that just no chokes. I tried to knock him unconscious. And he got muzzle thumped 6 times before he gave us his hands" --  Rombough texted.

"Glad you're having fun babe" -- the unidentified respondent texted.

"It's nice after a very boring swat op" --  Rombough texted.

More than a dozen police officers in Antioch have been implicated in the texting scandal that has rocked the police department and the local community.

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The existence of the text messages became known last month as a result of an ongoing federal probe into Antioch and Pittsburg police officers. The FBI — which is investigating alleged fraud, bribery, drug distribution and civil rights violations related to the use of force in the department — found the messages after agents served search warrants on a number of officers' homes. 

Federal agents also showed up at the police department, seizing phones and other personal items.

On April 7,  the court ordered the DA's Office to disclose redacted investigative reports to defense attorneys representing clients in a felony criminal case. 

The judge issuing the order reminded defense counsel about the sensitive nature of the content of the reports and urged caution in its distribution beyond the parties involved in the criminal case. 

The district attorney's office agreed with the court advisory -- as the documents contained explicit words and images that are hurtful, offensive, and inflammatory.

The district attorney has released 21 pages of redacted texts and now 14 on Monday 14 pages.

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