LAPD officer accused of assaulting man at Whittier party

LOS ANGELES — Officials Thursday filed charges against an off-duty Los Angeles police officer accused of punching another man without warning, breaking his jaw, during a party in Whittier in July of 2011.
Donald Albert Peko, 35, was charged with battery causing serious bodily injury in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
The charge came more than 14 months after the date of the alleged attack.
Peko was freed from jail on a $50,000 bond and ordered to return to court Jan. 18 for arraignment, officials said.
Peko was at a family party in Whittier when he told 23-year-old Christopher Price that he could not leave the party with an open container of alcohol, the D.A,’s statement said.
“When price started to drink to finish the bottle, Peko allegedly punched him once in the jaw without warning,” according to the statement. “Price suffered a broken jaw.”
The case was investigated by the Whittier Police Department and is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Geoffrey Rendon of the D.A.’s Justice System Integrity Division.
In an unrelated case, two LAPD officers were arrested by Whittier police on suspicion of beating and pistol-whipping a man outside a restaurant in the 15600 block of Whittwood Lane Jan. 26, 2010.
After a 22-month-long investigation, prosecutors declined to file charges against the two officers citing “insufficient evidence,” D.A.’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said. The case was rejected in November of 2011.

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