A married San Diego police officer and former U.S. Marine was arrested May 11 accused of raping a woman while on duty. Daniel Dana, 26, was fired shortly after he was arrested. It's the latest in a troubling trend for the department. Tony Shin reports.
One day after San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne apologized for recent police misconduct, a San Diego police officer has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman and forcing her to perform sexual acts, according to police.
“Well I can tell you I’m extremely angry and I’m working hard to keep that anger under control,” said Lansdowne Wednesday afternoon.
A 34-year-old woman claims she was raped and forced to “orally copulate” officer Daniel Dana, 26, while he was on-duty, according to police.
Sources within the police department say the woman is a prostitute and the alleged incident happened at Presidio Park at 3 a.m. Wednesday.
“The female stated she had developed a friendly relationship with the officer over the past several weeks and that she received a text message from the officer and arranged to meet him,” said Lt. Andra Brown.
Dana allegedly told the woman that she would be arrested if she did not perform sexual acts with him.
“Fearing arrest, the female went with the officer to a local park where she complied with his demands,” said Lt. Brown.
The woman then called police to report the incident.
“We conducted an investigation and we have booked that officer on several charges,” said Lansdowne. “He is no longer a member of the San Diego Police Department.”
Dana was booked Wednesday afternoon about 2 p.m. on charges of rape, kidnap, assault by a public officer, oral copulation by threat of authority, oral copulation by threat of retaliation and rape by threat of retaliation among other charges.
Sources say investigators took the allegations very seriously because they checked the officer's GPS system on his car and the location where the woman claimed the officer took her matched up with the GPS.
The officer was confronted Wednesday night after his shift and refused a police line up, according to sources.
According to Lansdowne, a police captain had talked to Dana just last week about integrity and professionalism.
“And I can tell you before that officer went out to work last night, after we did the briefing with the community of San Diego, and he was again talked to by his sergeant and unfortunately this incident took place,” said Lansdowne.
Dana is scheduled to be arraigned Friday at 1.30 p.m.
“The Sex Crimes Unit will continue to investigate the incident,” said Lt. Brown.
Dana has been on the force for about five years, working out of western division in the Midway area.
Dana has been married to his wife for five years. They share a home in Escondido. On Tuesday night, Dana's wife did not want to comment on her husband's arrest.
"He was a good neighbor, he really was," said resident Mary Gail Tobler.
Many in his neighborhood felt safer knowing that Dana lived on their street.
"It's unbelievalbe, I don't know how to react," said Gerardo Alvarez, "I thought we would be safe cause we had a police officer living by our house."
Neighbor Diane Cordero said, "I think it's pretty sad. A sad commentary on today's world. I'm sure it's humiliating for the police department. I know there are a lot of men working hard out there and it gives them a bad name."
Several other seasoned officers have been involved in a number of investigations in the last four months ranging from suspicion of driving under the influence to allegations of stalking, rape and sexual battery under the color of authority.
The most recent incident occurred in Chula Vista Saturday when San Diego police officer William Johnson, a 12-year veteran on the force, was arrested after an accident on Telegraph Canyon Road and Paseo Ladera.
Johnson, who was driving his personal vehicle, was arrested for DUI and released Sunday morning on his own recognizance.
Other incidents include former police officer Anthony Arevalos who was fired after his arraignment on multiple charges for accused sexual battery, false imprisonment and assault under the color of authority stemming from traffic stops between 2009 and 2011.
Another unidentified officer resigned citing personal reasons after he had been suspended without pay and accused of raping a Point Loma Nazarene University student.
Veteran San Diego police Sgt. Ken Davis faces one felony and three misdemeanor charges stemming from accusations he stalked a female officer and repeatedly harassed her with unwanted phone calls and other contact.
Davis pleaded not guilty, and the judge has allowed him to remain free on his own recognizance. He’s on paid administrative duty.
The department began working on a seven-point program to help curb potential misconduct in January when they started spotting signs among officers.
On Tuesday, Lansdowne said he would work hard to repair the department's reputation but acknowledged "it will take years to repair that between us and the people of San Diego.”
Wednesday evening, Mayor Jerry Sanders released this statement.
"These recent incidents of officer misconduct are extremely disturbing. I met with the police chief this morning and he assures me he is taking strong action within the department to address this.
As a former police chief, I have absolutely no tolerance for officers who fail to obey the very laws they are sworn to uphold. The vast majority of our officers are honest and hard-working. It’s very unfortunate that some of their colleagues have apparently strayed from their duty to protect the public."