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August 21, 2019

Delco police officer allegedly gave stolen Taser to convicted criminal 'Nik the Hat'

Investigations Weapons
Don Jackson Jr Source/Delaware County District Attorney's Office

Donald Jackson Jr, 44, of Chester, allegedly gave a Chester Police Department Taser to ex-YC News journalist Hatziefstathiou, who was charged last month in a separate investigation in Delaware County.

A Chester City police officer is facing criminal charges after he allegedly gave a stolen Taser to a journalist and photographer who was charged with multiple crimes in Delaware County last month.

Donald Jackson, Jr., 44, is accused of giving a police department stun gun to former YC News founder Nik Hatziefstathiou, a.k.a. "Nik the Hat," the 25-year-old Marple man who allegedly created a false racist government email in the Delaware County Adult Probation and Parole office.

Hatziefstathiou, who was hit with more than 20 charges last month, has an extensive history of run-ins with the law, including a guilty plea in 2015 for sending prostitutes to his neighbor's home and then calling police to report a disturbance.

Investigators said Hatziefstathiou sent Jackson a text message on Jan. 24. asking if he knew where he could obtain a Taser.

“Know anyone I can borrow a taser from? I’m going to be in some bad areas while I’m down there this weekend,” Hatziefstathiou allegedly said in texts to the Chester cop.

“I have one," Jackson allegedly responded. "You can’t tell anyone where you got it though.”

Additional text messages showed that the pair met up that night and Hatziefstathiou allegedly received the stolen weapon from Jackson. 

Investigators said the Taser, which had the number 14 carved into it, was purchased by the Chester Police Department in 2011 for $804.95. It was last assigned to a now-retired police captain and returned properly to Jackson, who was assigned as the Chester Police Department’s Special Project Officer.

When confronted with the text message evidence, Jackson admitted he took the Taser from the department and later gave it to Hatziefstathiou. Tasers are prohibited offensive weapons that can't be possessed by those without a permit.

“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,” Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland said.

Jackson is charged with misdemeanor theft and related offenses. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 3.