UPD officer charged with assault

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St. Edward’s University police officer Leo Saenz has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. 

Saenz grabbed his girlfriend by the neck after they argued, according to the Austin American-Statesman

Saenz, 36, was arrested on campus Thursday and was released from the Travis County Jail after posting $2,000 bail. 

The charge, causing bodily injury to a family member, is a Class A misdemeanor. The sentence could be up to a year of jail time.

The American-Statesman cites an affidavit and offers more detail:

The two argued after the girlfriend accused Leo Saenz of being involved with someone else, the affidavit said.

She told police that Saenz had grabbed her by the throat, then tried to pull her off the bed and punched her abdomen, the affidavit said.

The woman broke free. She left and called 911 while Saenz was grabbing a pair of handcuffs, the affidavit said.

Saenz also left the scene and officers found him on campus, the American-Statesman reported.

The incident occurred at Saenz’s home, said Mischelle Diaz, SEU spokeswoman.

Rudolph Rendon, SEU police chief, said in a statement that Saenz has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of the Austin Police Department’s investigation.

“The arrest of university police officer Leo Saenz on charges of domestic violence is disappointing news for the university,” he said. “The integrity and behavior of our officers, both on the job and in their private lives, is important in creating a forthright and principled police force. The university is fully supporting and cooperating with APD’s investigation.” 

Saenz was hired in 2012, and came to St. Edward’s with no prior charges, Rendon said.

The arrest comes as the university is engaged in efforts to raise awareness about sexual assault and dating violence.

This is not the first time a UPD officer has been in trouble with the law. 

In 2010, former UPD officer Jason Gilroy, 23, was charged with improper photography after a loss prevention manager said he witnessed Gilroy entering the women’s junior fitting room at the Macy’s in Barton Creek Square. Gilroy was using his cell phone, which he affixed to his shoe and slid under the stalls, to take pictures of women in the dressing rooms, according to the APD report.

Gilroy resigned.