Surveillance video of woman allegedly fondled by officer

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Police Department has released surveillance video of a woman who claims an officer assaulted her while another officer did nothing. The video was captured moments after the alleged attack.

The newly released video is from July 2009. Officers Michael Cruz and John Urban turned in their badges in December, not long after the allegations came to light.

The video shows Cruz and Urban dropping off the woman at a Target store. In the video the woman can be seen getting out of the car and hugging one of the officers. She then walked away and into the store.

Cruz and Urban were supposed to be investigating a fender bender in which the woman, whose name has not been released, left the accident scene at 43rd Avenue and Yucca Street. The officers found the woman a few blocks away and took her back to the scene.

She was allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time, but the officers never administered a formal test.

"I admitted I had a couple of drinks," the 23-year-old woman told police. "I have a prior history of DUI. He knew that he could get away with something with me, is what I'm getting at."

The woman said that before the officers dropped her off at the Target, she was taken a secluded area near Arroyo Elementary School, about 1/2 mile from the accident scene. That's where Cruz allegedly sexually assaulted her in the back of the patrol car. The woman said Urban was in the front seat doing paperwork while Cruz was groping her.

An internal report that's hundreds of pages long details what happened the afternoon of July 26.

According to the investigation documents, "Officer Cruz stated he grabbed [the victim's] breast under her bikini." The report goes on to describe other inappropriate touching.

The woman said it was not consensual.

Both officers were told they'd be fired after that internal investigation into the woman's complaint. The men resigned. Cruz had been with the department for five years; Urban had been with the department for eight years.

While Cruz was accused of assaulting the woman, Urban was accused of failing to report misconduct on the part of a fellow employee.

The incident sent shock waves though the entire department.

"For something like this to happen, it disgusts us. It shocks us," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department Thursday morning. "It's even harder on us because we as police officers spend our entire careers wearing the badge ... we are the people that you call in your darkest hour. We are the people the community needs to have absolute confidence in. And when an act like this occurs, it undermines that trust and confidence of the community."

Neither officer was ever charged in connection with the incident. The woman reportedly did not want to get involved in a criminal investigation.

As for the wreck that started it all, the woman was cited for failure to control speed to avoid a collision.

Police said the video was the last piece in the puzzle and that their investigation is now complete.