State

Modesto police officer arrested twice in 5 months

RIVERBANK — A Modesto police officer was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of violating a domestic violence protective order.

This is the second arrest in several months for officer Gabriel Martinez. Modesto police arrested him Jan. 17 on suspicion of felony domestic violence after his wife called police.

Martinez, 31, was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail on Tuesday about 4 p.m., said Stanislaus County Assistant Sheriff Bill Heyne. The Sheriff's Department provides law enforcement for Riverbank. Martinez was not in custody Wednesday afternoon.

Heyne said Martinez was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his wife's home in the 3900 block of Patterson Road after she called authorities.

Heyne did not have many details of the arrest but said typically domestic violence protective orders prohibit any contact between the parties.

Sheriff's Sgt. Vince Kimbrough said the Martinezes are separated and are in the process of divorcing.

The protective order was filed in March, one month after the Stanislaus County district attorney's office filed a felony domestic violence charge against Martinez from the Jan. 17 arrest. That charge has not been resolved.

Martinez could not be reached for comment, and his attorney, Ramon Magaña, declined to comment.

Modesto police Sgt. Rick Armendariz said Martinez is assigned to patrol and has been with the department for six years.

Armendariz said officers went to the Martinez home in northeast Modesto about 12:30 a.m. Jan. 17 after Martinez's wife called authorities regarding an altercation. She was not taken to a hospital, Armendariz said.

Police Chief Mike Harden said Martinez has been on paid administrative leave since his first arrest as the department conducts its own investigation. Harden said he could not comment in detail because it is a personnel matter, but hoped to wrap up the investigation up soon.

But in general, Harden said, an investigation would weigh such factors as the nature and circumstances of the arrest, whether it would interfere with an officer's ability to do his job and its impact on the department's reputation.

Harden said in his seven years as assistant chief, acting chief and chief, he cannot recall the arrest of another officer or employee in the department of about 400 employees.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or 578-2316.

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