California cop faced no discipline for staging own suicide, soliciting prostitutes: report
A police officer in San Diego who staged his own suicide and solicited prostitutes while on-duty has faced few consequences for his actions, police records recently made public show.
Cesar Alcantara, who resigned from the San Diego Police Department last year, was the target of an internal affairs investigation that found he had engaged in criminal conduct, according to an investigation from inewsource and KPBS. The report comes after the department publicly released a handful of police misconduct files under new state transparency laws.
Police and family court records show that just after Mother’s Day in 2020, Alcantara got into a fight with his girlfriend – who would later become his wife and also worked as an officer on the force. The unidentified girlfriend left their home in Chula Vista to go to the beach alone, enraging Alcantara, who demanded she come home, according to the report. He drunkenly sent her videos and photos, including one photo of him pointing a loaded off-duty firearm in his mouth.
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The records show that when his girlfriend returned home, she found her boyfriend pretending to be dead on the floor surrounded by what she thought was blood.
"I’ll never forget walking in there and seeing that," she told police, according to inewsource.
She ran upstairs at the home after discovering Alcantara was not injured and the blood was fake. Alcantara responded by grabbing the handgun and allegedly shooting it at the floor, according to the report. The girlfriend again thought Alcantara may have committed suicide, and rushed to his side. She began yelling at him when she discovered he was not injured, according to the report. Alcantara told her to stop making noise and turned on the police scanner to see if a neighbor reported the gunshot, according to the report.
No one reported the incident, according to inewsource, but the issue was resurrected in 2021, after Alcantara and his girlfriend had wed. A rumor at the police department sparked an investigation about a gun allegedly going off in their home, but both Alcantara and his wife denied the incident to investigators, the report said.
By September 2021, Alcantara’s wife sought a divorce and told investigators the truth about the gunshot and also provided investigators with text messages showing Alcantara was allegedly soliciting prostitutes while on-duty.
"I’m not trying to threaten his job," she said at the time, according to inewsource. "I’m not trying to railroad him or be vindictive. I just want to be sure that I’m able to get out without incident."
The local police department investigated the home, and found a handful of evidence, including a bottle of fake blood. His wife was granted a restraining order and Alcantara was told to relinquish his firearms. He was reportedly placed on leave at the department as an investigation was carried out.
"I feel like such an idiot," his wife allegedly told police. "It’s embarrassing to tell the story, because when you say it out loud, anybody’s going to be like, ‘Why did you stay in that relationship? Like what were you thinking?’ And being on this side now, now I understand what people who are actually the victim go through."
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Alcantara ultimately resigned from the force in May 2022, before the investigation concluded. He was never formally reprimanded for the actions, and the DA declined to prosecute him, according to inewsource.
Internal affairs continued their investigation after Alcantara’s resignation and found text messages that showed he allegedly solicited prostitutes four times while on-duty. One text exchanged showed the former cop was messaging with a sex worker while setting up police tape around a homicide crime scene in October 2020, inewsource found.
"Cesar’s choosing to engage in such immoral, and illegal, behavior while also being a police officer is a failure in keeping with the highest standards of the law enforcement profession," a San Diego Police Department report concluded of Alcantara.
Despite his resignation and investigation, Alcantara is still eligible to serve as a police officer in the state of California. Alcantara’s wife also resigned from the force in 2022.
Alcantara, a Marine Corps veteran, said during divorce proceedings that he was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and was binge-drinking the day he staged his suicide.
"The fact is that I almost died that night, not because of suicidal ideations or threats, but because my level of intoxication was so severe that handling a handgun was just the stupidest decision of my life," he wrote in a court statement, according to inewsource. He added that he was seeking treatment at the San Diego VA.
The San Diego Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. Fox News Digital was unable to reach Alcantara on Sunday.