Former Sexy Single not looking so sexy after woman-punching video goes viral

Lt. Jonathan Josey in 2006, when he was a daily news Sexy Single sergeant. (Jessica Griffin/Staff Photographer)
Lt. Jonathan Josey in 2006, when he was a daily news Sexy Single sergeant. (Jessica Griffin/Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 03, 2012

AFTER AIDA GUZMAN was punched and bloodied by a Philadelphia cop at the end of Sunday's Puerto Rican Day Parade, video of the incident got hundreds of thousands of views on the Internet.

Not all viewers could have known that the cop, Highway Patrol Lt. Jonathan D. Josey II, 40, is more than just a decorated police supervisor who moonlights as an actor.

He's also a former Daily News Sexy Single.

In the video, Josey appears to punch Guzman twice in the head so hard that she is knocked to the ground, behavior that is anything but sexy.

"We'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge that the video is disturbing," Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

Josey, a 19-year veteran of the department, did not return requests for comment. An Internal Affairs investigation was launched Monday and he was placed on desk duty, Ross said.

"We have a video before us that depicts some very disturbing images . . ." Ross said. "Clearly, the one issue at hand is she does appear to be walking away. She does not appear to be facing Lt. Josey at that time."

The 36-second video, titled "Philadelphia Police Brutality," was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday and had more than 208,000 views by Monday night.

It begins with a slew of officers surrounding a car at 5th Street and Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia during a street party that followed the annual parade.

While the officers' backs are turned, a few people in the crowd appear to start throwing liquids at the cops.

It's unclear if Guzman, 39, threw anything at the officers. She can be seen jumping up and down behind them and waving her arms for the first two seconds of the video. Some viewers have speculated that she appears to be throwing "silly string" or water.

However, when a man dressed in black throws water on the officers seconds later, they turn their attention to the crowd. When Josey turns around, he zeroes in on Guzman, who happens to be behind him.

As she is walking away, Josey punches her once in the face from behind and then once in the back of the head. She is knocked to the ground and appears to ask "Why?" as Josey handcuffs her.

Once in handcuffs, Guzman is led away by two other officers, and blood can be seen streaming from her mouth. All the while, a Puerto Rican flag hangs from the back of her pants.

At her Chester home Monday, Guzman, a mother of three, gingerly ran her fingers over her swollen, cut lip as she gave her version of what happened.

She said that chaos erupted when a car started doing doughnuts at 5th and Lehigh and someone threw a bottle - she's unsure what was inside - at cops.

Partly translated by her teen daughters, Guzman said in Spanish that she was hit from behind and didn't know what happened after the punch.

"While she was on the ground, the police said, 'That's what you get,' " said Guzman's daughter Keysha, 19.

"I said, 'It wasn't me,' " Guzman said. "That's what happened. I didn't do it. He has no right to put his hands on me.

"I'm 39, I don't play games like that."

Guzman was arrested and was issued a summary citation for disorderly conduct, on which police wrote that she had thrown beer at them.

The incident is the latest black eye for the Police Department.

Last week, the Daily News reported on numerous sexual-harassment lawsuits and complaints against 17th District Capt. Anthony Washington. And in August, Commissioner Charles Ramsey asked for an independent law firm to investigate Internal Affairs Staff Inspector Jerrold Bates after the People Paper detailed sexual-harassment and assault allegations against him.

City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, the city's first Hispanic female member of Council and the grand marshal at Sunday's parade, said that she began to receive calls about the video at 7 a.m. Monday.

"Obviously, my initial reaction was outrage," she said. "This was a woman walking away from a police officer and him reacting in a way that is unnecessary and unacceptable."

Julie Cousler, deputy director of Concilio, the organization that puts on the parade, said the video was troubling.

"It's a special day for the community. There's just a lot of pride, so for this to happen is disappointing for everybody, the Police Department included, I'm sure," she said. "I just hope the right action is taken with him."

Josey's friends were shocked by the video and said that it was out of character for the officer, who runs a violence-prevention program in his spare time, moonlights as an actor, is the father of a little girl and an active member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Josey has made headlines before. In 2006, he nominated himself to be a Daily News Sexy Single and was selected. He listed as his most outstanding feature his "charm and magnetic personality" and said he was tired of meeting women who act like girls.

In March 2010, Josey interrupted an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven in Montgomery County and fatally shot the alleged robber. He was cleared in the shooting, and the Citizens Crime Commission of Delaware Valley cited him for bravery.

In July 2010, while he was off duty, Josey was stabbed outside a West Philly bar while trying to break up a fight.

About three years ago, Josey and Crime Scene Unit Officer Terry Lewis started the Life or Death Initiative, a nonprofit organization that teaches violence prevention to teens and ex-offenders.

Lewis said the men run the program on their own time and their own dime. He said that he knows Josey to be a "caring" man.

"I know what's on TV and YouTube. I just never seen that in him; that's just not in his character," Lewis said. "I'm not making excuses for him, but that's not really in his character, especially given the kind of dedication he has to the community."

Josey also moonlights as an actor and comedian. According to his online profile, he's worked on indie movies including "Sure Looks Good" and in stage productions including "Tryna Get to Heaven on 15 Cents."

Comedian TuRae, who goes by just one name, said that although the video looks bad, it doesn't depict who Josey is.

"I would not have any fear in my heart to have Josey watch and protect any woman in my family, and that includes my three daughters," TuRae said. "He's a loving father. He's a stand-up citizen and, quite honestly, he's somebody who's always wanted to be a Philadelphia police officer."

Police are asking that anyone who witnessed the incident contact Internal Affairs at 215- 685-5056.


Contact Stephanie Farr at farrs@phillynews.com or 215-854-4225. Follow her on Twitter @FarFarrAway. Read her blog at PhillyConfidential.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|