A police beating victim shared his terrifying ordeal Friday, describing the night in 2019 when he thought he might die in front of horrified family members during a baptism party at his father-in-law’s house.
Angel Salgado spoke to NBC 5 one day after the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office unsealed a grand jury indictment against former Waukegan police officer Dante Salinas in regard to the incident. A grand jury returned charges of aggravated battery and official misconduct against the former officer, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
Salinas was also charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2020 fatal shooting of Marcellis Stinnette, an unarmed Black man, and the shooting of his girlfriend, Tafara Williams.
Body camera video of the incident involving Salgado shows the Waukegan man being pinned down behind his neck by the then-officer.
“It’s like the worst feeling,” said an emotional Salgado, as he watched video of the encounter.
Salgado and his attorney filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Waukegan and Salinas in August 2020 after they say the former officer stopped Salgado who said he came outside for a cigarette.
“He points the gun at me… I didn’t commit a crime,” the Waukegan resident said. “I put my hands up because I wasn’t looking for trouble.”
More officers arrived on scene, and then Salgado was tased at least three times and pinned by his neck.
“I have all these officers on me,” he said. “I don’t know how it’s gonna be. Are they gonna shoot me?”
Salgado was taken to jail, charged with resisting arrest and assault. According to his attorney, Kevin O’Connor, the charges were dropped once video of the incident was reviewed.
Two months after Salgado and his attorney filed their lawsuit, Stinnette was shot and killed.
“He should have never been on the street,” Salgado said, referring to Salinas. “…I truly blame the city of Waukegan for the death of Marcellis Stinnette.”
According to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, Salinas had not received a complaint nor did he witness Salgado breaking any laws when he confronted the Waukegan resident.
“As Former Officer Salinas was driving, an exchange of words began between the two and Salinas stepped out of his vehicle, initially pulling his firearm, and then quickly switched to his taser,” the office stated in a news release.
After the verbal exchange continued, Salgado turned away from Salinas and entered a fenced-in area of his family’s residence. Salinas followed him, deployed his taser, and eventually tackled and punched Salgado, breaking his eye socket, the office stated.
Salinas faces up to five years in prison if convicted of aggravated battery and official misconduct.