Felony charges were filed Tuesday against an off-duty LAPD probationary officer whose arrest for allegedly threatening to kill his cousin and another man triggered an internal investigation into how he was hired last year despite previous off-duty incidents involving alleged excessive alcohol use, Chief Michel Moore said.
Nicolas Enmanuel Quintanilla-Borja, 29, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count each of false imprisonment by violence and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, along with two counts of making criminal threats, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
He also faces sentence-enhancing allegations that he used a firearm.
Quintanilla-Borja returned to his Inglewood home last Friday and allegedly threatened to kill his 37-year-old cousin, who barricaded himself inside a room. The officer then went outside, where he allegedly made similar threats to a 64-year-old man who also lived on the property, pulled out a gun and pointed it at the man, who managed to get away and call 911, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Moore briefed the Police Commission on Quinanilla-Borja’s arrest at Tuesday morning’s Police Commission meeting.
“Being a police officer is an absolute privilege and comes with tremendous responsibilities, and the actions as reported here involving this probationary police officer have no place by a member of this organization,” Moore said.
The police chief said he removed peace officer power from Quintanilla-Borja and assigned him to home during the investigation.
“The officer was allegedly under the influence at the time, significantly, and that impairment, in my view at this early stage, apparently contributed to this event,” the chief said. “We take this matter very seriously and we will not tolerate this type of misconduct in this organization in any manner.”
Moore said the LAPD will also look into its hiring practices and how the department missed earlier allegations of misconduct off-duty and excessive use of alcohol involving Quintanilla-Borja.
“This incident did involve allegations of excessive use of alcohol and not on a single event, but earlier accounts attributed to this officer’s conduct off duty,” Moore said. “This (investigation) will involve us looking at all of that to see how did we miss it.”
Quintanilla-Borja was hired by the LAPD in January 2020 and was assigned to the 77th Street Division.
He was arrested by Inglewood police about 5:40 a.m. last Friday at his home in the 3500 block of West 116th Street, the police chief said.
The Los Angeles Police Department dispatched internal affairs investigators to support Inglewood officers in their investigation.
“Wearing a badge does not give an officer the right to break laws,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a written statement. “Police officers will be held accountable for their actions just like anyone else.”