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Garden Grove police officer accused of assaulting homeless people while on duty

A Garden Grove police officer has been charged with threatening and beating homeless people while on duty in two separate incidents last year.

Kevin Dinh, a 12-year veteran of the department, was charged Wednesday by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with four counts of attempted criminal threats, two counts of assault and battery and two counts of assault and battery. injuries by a public official.

Dinh, 37, has not been arrested and is on administrative leave. He faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted on all counts, prosecutors said.

It was not immediately clear who represented him.

In a statement, the district attorney’s office said that on September 20, Dinh and another officer were sent to a restaurant following a complaint that homeless people refused to leave the front of the business.

Prosecutors allege Dinh hit a homeless man on the head. They say he also twisted the man’s hands while holding them behind his back and threatened to break his teeth if he saw him again.

In another incident on October 18, prosecutors allege that Dinh punched a homeless suspect in handcuffs after he was sent with two other officers to a bus stop to investigate a theft of packages from a nearby house. They claim that Dinh also pulled the man’s hair while saying something to him.

Prosecutors said the homeless man was released and his handcuffs removed.

In a statement, the Garden Grove Police Department said Dinh was immediately placed on administrative leave after another officer reported inappropriate use of force to a supervisor linked to the alleged second assault.

Spokesman Lt. Richard Burillo said authorities opened a criminal investigation in which they subsequently learned of the first alleged assault.

Both incidents were captured on body camera footage, which has not been released by the department.

“We will not tolerate this behavior on any member of our community,” Garden Grove Police Chief Tom DaRe said in a statement. “Everyone will be treated with dignity and respect. “

Dinh is due to be brought to justice on July 21.

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