ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Case # 15CF0049
Date: March 6, 2015
SANTA ANA – A former Signal Hill Police Department (SHPD) officer was arrested today on charges of using excessive force under the color of authority. Jacob Emory Swigger, 39, Lake Forest, is charged with one felony count of excessive force by a police officer and one felony count of assault with a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. Swigger is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 30, 2015. The time and department are to be determined.
At the time of the crime, Swigger was working as a police officer with SHPD. The defendant is accused of committing the crime on his way into work dressed in civilian clothing and driving his personal vehicle.
At approximately 7:00 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2014, Swigger was driving northbound on the Interstate 5 near the Bake Parkway exit when 50-year-old John Doe changed lanes in front of him. Swigger is accused of then honking and driving after John Doe for approximately one and a half miles. As John Doe continued to drive northbound with the flow of traffic, Swigger is accused of driving up alongside the victim’s vehicle and suddenly swerving his car directly in front of John Doe, forcing the victim to come to a complete stop. Swigger is accused of then exiting his vehicle in the middle of the freeway, during rush-hour traffic, and approaching John Doe. He is accused of approaching John Doe while pointing a gun at him, identifying himself as a police officer, and ordering the victim out of the vehicle.
When John Doe did not immediately comply, Swigger is accused of opening the victim’s car door, and pulling John Doe out of the vehicle, causing him to fall to the ground. The defendant is accused of further assaulting John Doe by repeatedly slamming the victim against his own vehicle, putting a gun to the victim’s head, and dragging him behind the vehicle in the middle of traffic.
Several passing motorists called 911 and reported the incident. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers arrived shortly thereafter and contacted the defendant. Swigger is no longer employed by SHPD.
CHP investigated this case and arrested the defendant today.
Deputy District Attorney Jess Rodriguez of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff