New Reaction: No charges filed against accused cop - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

New Reaction: No charges filed against accused cop

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against a San Diego police officer who was arrested twice in the past month on suspicion of battering his wife.

Gilbert Lorenzo, 31, was suspended last month for allegedly pushing his wife in La Mesa and was re-arrested last week on suspicion of choking her and biting her in Spring Valley. He faced two felonies involving domestic violence.

Lorenzo is a seven-year-veteran on the department and was assigned to the SDPD Northern Division.

Lorenzo’s wife told CBS News 8 she is disappointed her husband won’t be prosecuted.

"It just shows that I guess cops are above the law,” said Tanya Lorenzo.

On Monday, 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.

"I am also hurt and struggling with physical and mental stuff,” said Tanya Lorenzo.

A witness told CBS News 8 she called police and stayed with the wife until law enforcement arrived. In both incidents she was not treated at the hospital.

A family law attorney not related to the case explains what the D.A. may have considered in the case and witnesses.

"They probably had a witness that wasn't good, was mistaken or had a poor view. They may have had a witness that was upset and misspoke or recanted,” said Georgia Williams. "In a moment of panic it's very difficult to see, process and repeat what you saw."

That witness wasn’t available for a follow-up interview.

Lorenzo’s wife says the DA did not interview her about the allegations. Williams who is a senior attorney for Law Offices of Borton Petrini LLP and specializes in family litigation says the alleged victim doesn’t have to be interviewed to file charges.

“These may have been just two very, very, ugly arguments and the police only saw a little bit of it and in order to calm things down they took one person away. That would not be out of line that would be good police work."

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. They have been separated since the first arrest.

CBS News 8 obtained a cell phone video of a fight between who is believed to be Officer Lorenzo and his wife before the first arrest:

Lorenzo: "(inaudible) doesn't want to hang out with you. Hu?"

Wife: “So you hit me?”

Lorenzo: “You act like that because your sister doesn’t want you going over there because they can't stand you.”

Wife: “You hit me in the face? So you hit me? Really?”

Lorenzo: “Yeah, I did.”

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's where the first call allegedly occurred. She immediately stripped Lorenzo of his police powers and put him on suspension without pay.

Court records show Lorenzo filed for divorce and child custody after his first arrest. He made claims his wife is the abuser and accused her of abusing drugs and alcohol and being a danger to their two young girls.

CBS News 8 has learned Lorenzo's wife is on probation for a 2012 domestic violence incident. 

Williams says this may not have had any weight on the DA’s decision not to file criminal charges but could help get his badge back.

"If he is an employee with a personal problem then it would be entirely appropriate for the police department to say, 'fix your problem,'” said Williams.

A spokesperson for the San Diego police department says the case is under internal investigation and would not comment citing confidential reasons.

Lorenzo posted $50,000 bail each time he was arrested.

Lorenzo was not available for comment Monday night and has previously declined to comment.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is call the YWCA Domestic Violence 24-hour anonymous hotline at 619-234-3164.

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