SAN DIEGO - Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against a San Diego police officer arrested twice in the past month on suspicion of battering his wife, it was announced Monday.
Gilbert Anthony Lorenzo, 31, was suspended last month for allegedly battering his wife in La Mesa and was arrested a second time last week on suspicion of inflicting corporal injury on his spouse.
Lorenzo, a seven-year SDPD veteran, was booked into jail at 11:18 p.m. on May 5, according to the sheriff's online jail records. He was seen exiting the jail and getting into a taxi around 6 a.m. the next day after posting $50,000 bail.
Lorenzo, who is assigned to the SDPD Northern Division, was initially arrested by La Mesa police April 22 on suspicion of felony domestic battery and quickly posted $50,000 bail.
A spokeswoman for the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, Tanya Sierra, said her office can only file charges if prosecutors believe they can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sierra said the decision against filing charges against Lorenzo came after a thorough review of the case.
Lorenzo, his wife and their young children live in La Mesa. Following the alleged battery incident in April, Lorenzo's 24-year-old wife, who did not require hospital treatment, came to his defense, saying he should not have been arrested.
SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said someone alerted her department to the alleged battery incident in April and the case was quickly turned over to La Mesa police because that is where the crime allegedly occurred.
After his second arrest, Tanya Lorenzo said she was no longer defending her husband.
She told 10News in an interview last week that she was dropping their children off at the Spring Valley home where Lorenzo was staying when he attacked her. She says he was drunk when he "went off" and claims he bit her and tried to strangle her.
She also admitted that she did not tell the truth when she claimed her husband did not beat her in April and that a bruise mark on her cheek was the result of that incident.
Lorenzo filed for divorce and sole custody of their children. In court documents, he said his wife is bipolar and abuses drugs.
Family law attorney Georgia Williams says Lorenzo's suspension was appropriate. She says as long as his estranged wife has not filed a restraining order against him, Lorenzo will likely be given his badge back.
"If it turns out that this was just a really ugly divorce, they will lift the suspension and quite often, not only is the suspension lifted, but he receives the back pay," said Williams.
When and if that happens, the department will not say. The chief's spokesman told 10News all personnel issues are protected by confidentiality laws.