A California police officer has been accused of manipulating corpses after police-involved shootings. The officer allegedly told a trainee that he “loves playing with dead bodies” and was seen “tickling” the feet and yanking on the head and toes of a dead man who had recently been killed by a fellow officer.
According to the Daily Mail, police officer Aaron Stringer who worked for the Bakersfield, California, Police Department has been accused of manipulating corpses after he told a trainee officer that he “loves playing with dead bodies.” The officer has been on paid administrative leave since November when the police department began investigating the startling accusations against the cop.
The report indicates that officer Stringer was seen by a trainee cop running his fingers down the soles of a deceased suspect’s feet. It is alleged that as he played with the corpse he said, “tickle, tickle.” The trainee officer, Lindy DeGeare, who witnessed the incident says that Stringer told him that he “loved playing with dead bodies.” In addition to tickling the corpse’s feet, Stringer could be seen yanking at the deceased man’s toes and head.
The Bakersfield Californian reports that the deceased was 22-year-old Ramiro James Villegas who had been shot by a fellow officer. One police officer who was charged with watching over the body at the scene claims that Stinger could be seen touching Villegas’ face and chin. It was noted that he attempted to open the deceased man’s mouth.
The probationary officer DeGeare says that she was riding with Stringer when they learned of the Villegas shooting. She says that after the pair left the shooting scene, Stringer asked her if she wanted to go to the morgue to view the body. DeGeare said she initially thought that Stringer was taking her to the body for training purposes so that she could get more used to seeing dead bodies, as she had only ever witnessed two previously. However, when they arrived at the morgue, she says things became uncomfortable.
The trainee officer says that Stringer manipulated the dead body many times. First, running his fingers over the dead man’s feet laughing as he said, “tickle, tickle.” After playing with the deceased man’s feet, DeGeare says the officer then began manipulating the corpse’s head.
“DeGeare said Stringer moved back toward Villegas’ upper body and tried to turn his head toward the right several times. She said he told her, ‘I guess it has,’ referring to the onset of rigor mortis, as he found it difficult to move the head. The reports say DeGeare told investigators Stringer used both hands to twice turn Villegas’ head to a forward position before letting it go and watching it return to its original position toward the left.”
It was during this manipulation in the morgue that the trainee officer says Stringer informed her that he “loved playing with dead bodies.” After leaving the morgue, DeGeare says that Stringer told her not to disclose that they went to view the body if asked. However, DeGeare says she was never asked.
“I just knew it was wrong, what was going on, and I should have said something at the time.”
The police are currently performing an internal investigation into Stringer’s actions against the corpse. However, police say they will not file charges, as Stringer did nothing illegal since the body was already at the hospital and morgue when it was manipulated.
What do you think should happen to the police officer who “loves playing with dead bodies”?
[Image Credit: KBAK]