4 EXCLUSIVE: Chief won't forward wife-beater case against cop to D.A.
Wed, 20 Nov 2013 05:08:36 GMT —
Action 4 News obtained exclusive evidence in the case against rookie Mission Police Officer Oscar Cardenas.
He's accused of beating up his own wife.
There are a dozen police photographs showing injuries ranging from a busted lip, choke marks to baseball-sized bruising and other black and blue marks throughout the victim's body.
Police reports tell a terrifying tale.
Cardenas is accused of repeatedly punching his wife, about a dozen times, on her face and legs with his fists and choking her to the point of dizziness while she drove home from a McAllen night club back on November 10th.
The victim states her highly intoxicated husband blamed her for flirting with another guy at the club.
The officer in question has been suspended with pay but hasn TMt be criminally charged.
That's because the alleged victim dropped the case against her husband.
Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez says she wants to try and work out any differences with Cardenas.
As a result, the criminal case against Cardenas is over, according to the chief.
That reality has some officers at the police department up in arms.
Some turned to Action 4 News to share how they believe the case should be turned over to the Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office for review.
They say police officers are held to a higher standard and believe prosecutors could move forward with the case against Cardenas with or without the victim's testimony based on the evidence.
Chief Dominguez says it doesn't work that way at the Mission Police Department.
"This case is no different than any other case that this department has handled," Chief Dominguez told Action 4 News. "If the victim is not willing to go forward with charges, we're not going to pursue it."
Earlier this year, another Mission officer, Adelio Lopez, was fired for allegedly yanking his wife's arm who pressed charges in a domestic dispute.
Rank-and-file officers who spoke to Action 4 News under the condition of anonymity feel the chief is trying to cover-up this latest domestic dispute, seen as 20 times worse than the last one, by not turning over the case to the district attorney.
Ryan: "Why not just wipe your hands clean and let him [district attorney] decide whether this case should be pursued?"
Chief Dominguez: "Because as the Chief of Police, I make these decisions. Our protocol has always been that. We shouldn't change that."
Ryan: "Are you in any way covering up for one of your officers?"
Chief DOminguez: "No I'm not."
An internal police investigation against Cardenas continues.
The police chief makes it clear he does not condone what his officer did and adds how his fate at the department rests on the results of the investigation.
"I'm not pleased at what he did," he said. "And obviously my investigation division of the Office of Professional Responsibility is looking at it. Once I get the data, the complete data, I will then make that decision."
Chief Dominguez says the police department has long supported victim's rights and that he TMs only following the victim TMs wishes.
Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra told Action 4 News that the case against Officer Cardenas should be forwarded to his office.
Chief Dominguez says he'll only forward the case if he TMs specifically asked.
An attorney representing Officer Cardenas has not yet returned a request for a comment.