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Couple claims police terrorized them

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Another Guam Police Department internal affairs investigation is ongoing after a couple filed a complaint alleging that GPD officers terrorized them before realizing that they had the wrong car. Mangilao residents Catherine and Francisco Ignacio say that in mid-January police at the traffic intersection near the Hagatna Library stopped them because their vehicle matched the description of a car that was apparently stolen.

Francisco says officers surrounded their vehicle and pulled a gun on him, had him kneel on the ground and he was then handcuffed. The couple was confused and in shock. "The officer ran over and pointed the gun at my wife and told my wife to stick out her hands and get out of the car and then they unhand cuffed me after they took out my wallet from my back pocket and looked at my drivers license and said it couldn't be the guy," he said. 

He also told KUAM News officers did apologize, but the incident they say caused his wife to suffer from an increase in blood pressure. They say medics had to be called to the area to calm her down.

Catherine says she fears that the police officers' error could have caused her life, saying, "We want the problem corrected, I don't want to hear in the future that maybe an elderly person who got pulled over died of a heart attack because he or she is scared out of their bones and its not right and I think they should get more classes of being patient and considerate."

"I'm not going to say that all of them are bad; just take the bad one's out because I feel that there is a lot of good people in there," continued Catherine.

Police say the incident is being taken seriously and remains under investigation by internal affairs. While the Ignacios also shared what they described as a traumatic experience with the congresswoman's office, the Attorney General's Office, and the Guam Legislature, public safety oversight chairman Senator Adolpho Palacios says he will be discussing the issue with Chief of Police Fred Bordallo. Palacios says he has received several other similar complaints this week alone of what seems to be police officers abusing their authority.

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