PATERSON, NJ (PIX11) — A New Jersey man last seen after police in Paterson left him in a park has been missing for a year.
Felix DeJesus, recovering from hip replacement surgery, was staying with his mother in nearby Haledon at the time, PIX11 reported. On Feb. 2, 2022, DeJesus stopped at a Paterson deli to buy some snacks.
He was handcuffed after accusations of harassing a woman at the deli, but police drove DeJesus to a park and dropped him off there after taking the handcuffs off.
DeJesus’ family fought to get access to police body camera video. They were eventually able to view a short clip, but DeJesus’ brother said it was short and didn’t show any of the officers’ faces.
In the video, DeJesus, in Spanish, told an officer his hand was broken. He asked why he was being arrested. It was freezing cold out that night when police left DeJesus at a park, a family lawyer told PIX11.
“He was in a T-shirt and they drive him where? Across town to a park, at night, near a river,” the lawyer said. “I mean, it smacks of beyond negligence.”
Investigators have said several people saw DeJesus near the river after police dropped him off one year ago. The Internal Affairs Division of the Paterson Police Department cleared the two officers who left DeJesus at the park of wrongdoing.
A vigil was scheduled for DeJesus for Thursday night. In a Facebook post about the vigil, the missing man’s brother promised to find out what happened to Felix DeJesus.
PIX11’s Mary Murphy and Jay Dow contributed to this report.