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SDPD Officer Arrested for Alleged Spousal Abuse in La Mesa

Gilbert Anthony Lorenzo, 31, was taken into custody Tuesday in La Mesa, then jailed and placed on compulsory leave without pay.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A San Diego police officer with seven years on the force faces possible felony prosecution following his arrest on suspicion of beating his wife, department officials announced today.

Gilbert Anthony Lorenzo, 31, was taken into custody Tuesday in La Mesa, where he lives, then jailed and placed on compulsory leave without pay, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said.

"Our department fully cooperated with this investigation with La Mesa (police) and coordinated the arrest of our officer," Zimmerman told reporters. "I immediately revoked his police powers and suspended him from our department."

Lorenzo's arrest opened another in a series of cases involving alleged misconduct on the part of San Diego police officers. Among the accusations are sexual abuse of female detainees and drunken driving.

La Mesa police Lt. Matt Nicholass said his department was alerted to Lorenzo's alleged violence by an SDPD representative around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday.

"La Mesa detectives immediately began investigating the case and coordinated with San Diego Police Department and ultimately determined that he (Lorenzo) was, in fact, a suspect, and he was arrested," Nicholass said.

The officer's spouse did not require hospital treatment, the lieutenant said. Nicholass declined to disclose other details about the alleged abuse, including where it purportedly occurred.

Lorenzo, who is assigned to the SDPD Northern Division, was booked into county jail on suspicion of felony domestic battery. He posted $50,000 bail and was released.

Zimmerman told news crews during a late-morning briefing that someone alerted the San Diego police communications center about the alleged domestic abuse. She would not say who made the call.

The chief described the allegations against Lorenzo as a blow to the morale of her entire agency.

"I was very disappointed -- very disappointed -- to hear this news, and I can tell you our officers were very disappointed to hear this news," Zimmerman said.

She said SDPD officials would not tolerate the choices of  "a very few" officers to "discredit our badge" and "dishonor our noble profession."

Two months ago, SDPD patrolman Christopher Hays, 30, was charged with felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor sexual battery in connection with his detention of several women. He resigned from the department the next day.

This morning, following a two-day preliminary hearing, a judge ordered Hays to stand trial in the case. The ex-officer faces up to three years and eight months in prison if convicted.

Also in February, SDPD officials announced that another one of their officers had been placed on leave amid similar accusations. A woman alleged that patrolman Donald Moncrief, 39, groped her and exposed himself after arresting her last year.

On Feb. 22, SDPD Detective Karen Almos, 47, was arrested on suspicion of DUI after being found passed out in a parked car in Balboa Park. She pleaded guilty this month to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to pay a fine of about $2,100.

In 2011, then-SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos was accused of sexually assaulting five women during traffic stops for suspected drunken driving in the Gaslamp Quarter. He ultimately was convicted and sentenced to almost nine years in prison.

—City News Service

Aaron Carter May 28, 2014 at 03:54 PM
The police handle a lot of stress. I think it's hard for them to handle their lives in the field and at home at times. They are trained machines and they are the best at what they do. Aaron Carter | http://thetacticalgentleman.com/about-the-gentleman/

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