ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Hours after Arlington police tweeted a photo of an event designed to end domestic violence; police officers arrested one of their top commanders on a charge of family violence.
Assistant Chief James Hawthorne was taken into custody early Sunday morning at his south Arlington house and charged with assault with bodily injury-family member. He was released from jail later Sunday after posting $1,500 bond.
Neighbor Richard Goblik said he’s stunned. “They’re very quiet, very nice people. He’s one of the neighbors who waves to you, says ‘hello’ to you in the morning, really nice guy.”
Goblik and other neighbors reported seeing male clothing thrown onto the assistance chief’s yard late Saturday night.
Police haven’t released any reports or court documents detailing exactly what happened, and officials wouldn’t say who the family violence victim is. But a family member has filled out an emergency protective order with the court.
Jan Langbein is the CEO of the Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support. “I feel very strongly that we hold our police officers, certainly the command in our police departments to a higher standard,” she said. “This is against the law – it is breaking the law.”
Langbein applauds Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson, who issued a statement saying, “I am deeply disappointed that an Arlington assistant police chief was involved in an incident of domestic violence. Regardless of who you are or where you work, domestic violence will not be tolerated or ignored in our community.”
Langbein explained that family violence doesn’t discriminate and isn’t just occurring to other people. “This issue of violence in the home is not defined by your ethnicity, your job, your education, how much money you earn.”
No one came to the door when CBS 11 News reporter Jack Fink stopped by Assistant Chief Hawthorne’s house Monday afternoon.
Hawthorne, a 28-year department veteran, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
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