The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The officer killed himself. Then officials said he was being investigated for sexual abuse.


A San Francisco police officer who killed himself in a Bay Area mall parking lot on Monday was being investigated for allegations that he committed sexual acts with a child, officials said Wednesday.

Antonio Malinao Cacatian, 49, who had worked for the department for nine years, shot himself after being pulled over by the police in a mall in nearby Richmond, Calif., officials said.

The Las Vegas Police Department was investigating claims that Cacatian had inappropriate sexual contact with a juvenile in the Nevada city, according to department spokeswoman Laura Meltzer.

Meltzer said the department’s detectives had been preparing to submit for an arrest warrant for Cacatian from the local district attorney on two felony counts of attempted lewdness with a child. The alleged incidents happened in 2014, and it appeared that Cacatian was associated with the victim’s family, Meltzer said.

The circumstances of Cacatian’s stop by a Richmond Police officer were not entirely clear. The San Francisco Police Department had been notified in early December by the police in Las Vegas that Cacatian was the focus of an investigation, Meltzer said, but she said she did not believe that Las Vegas Police Department was involved with the traffic stop.

Lt. Felix Tan, a spokesman for the Richmond Police Department, said SFPD had asked them to pull Cacatian over so they could serve him with a search warrant.

“SFPD told us that they were conducting an investigation on him,” Tan said. Tan said he did not know what had prompted the search warrant.

As the Richmond police officer approached the car in the parking lot of the Hilltop mall around 1:30 p.m, Cacatian shot himself, officials said. He was declared dead at the scene. Plainclothes officers from the San Francisco department arrived on the scene immediately after the car was stopped, Tan said.

In Nevada, attempted lewdness with a minor is defined as an adult who “willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, other than acts constituting the crime of sexual assault, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 16 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of that child.”

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