MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — A Chester City police officer has been arrested after prosecutors say he distributed a stolen taser to a convicted criminal known as “Nik the hat.” The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against 44-year-old Donald Jackson Jr. on Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Jackson gave Nikolaos Hatziefstathiou — who was recently charged with identity theft for impersonating a journalist to obtain government records — in January 2019. The taser was discovered on June 24 when authorities executed a search warrant at Hatziefstathiou’s home in Broomall.
The taser had No. 14 carved into it with two firing cartridges and a cellphone, officials say. It was last discharged in June 2019 according to its firing logs.
Investigators say the taser belonged to the Chester City Police Department and was bought in October 2011. It was last assigned to a retired Chester police captain, who returned it to Jackson upon retirement. Jackson was the department’s Special Project Officer.
“Donald Jackson, Jr., used his position of trust and authority as a law enforcement officer to obtain a police issued weapon and then illegally transferred it to a convicted criminal, violating his sworn oath to uphold the laws of our Commonwealth,” District Attorney Kat Copeland said.
Officials say Jackson and Hatziefstathiou discussed a taser over text messages beginning on Jan. 24 when Hatziefstathiou asked Jackson if he knew anyone who he could borrow a taser from because he was “going to be in some bad areas while I’m down there this weekend.”
Jackson said, “I have one. You can’t tell anyone where you got it thought,” prosecutors say. Hatziefstathiou picked up the taser from Jackson’s home that night.
On April 15, Jackson sent a text to Hatziefstathiou asking him about the taser. Hatziefstathiou replied with, “We have one more shoot was gonna use it just in case,” and later said, “Didn’t use it luckily lmao,” according to authorities.
While being interviewed by detectives on July 25, prosecutors say Jackson admitted he took the taser and gave it to Hatziefstathiou.
Jackson is charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft by receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy to possession of an offensive weapon.
He was relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave on Wednesday.