Documents: Arlington assistant police chief assaulted his wife

Arlington Assistant Police Chief James Hawthorne used his “hands, fist, and feet” in an assault on his wife early Sunday at their Arlington home, according to documents released Tuesday by the city’s police department.

The report indicates that officers seized a .38 Special revolver and five unfired rounds. The identity of the revolver’s owner is blacked out.

The documents, which include the incident report and a magistrate’s approval for a 61-day emergency protective order, are heavily redacted and thus offer few specifics of the incident.

Hawthorne, 54, a 28-year member of the Arlington police force, was arrested and booked into the city jail at 3:45 a.m. Sunday. He faces a charge of assault with bodily injury to a family member, according to jail records. He was later released on $1,500 bail.

Hawthorne was placed on administrative leave.

The documents do not identify Hawthorne’s wife by name. Hawthorne is married to Stephanie Hawthorne, principal at Christine Barnett Junior High School in Arlington. The couple have two grown children together.

Hawthorne has not returned messages seeking comment.

On Saturday, Hawthorne participated with other police officials in a Take a Stand/Break the Silence walk at River Legacy Parks to raise money for groups that help people affected by domestic violence.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, police were called to the Hawthornes’ house. The offense report states that Hawthorne “was found to have intentionally and knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury” during a physical altercation. His wife’s injuries were described as “swelling/redness.” He was off duty.

The department will present the case to the Tarrant County district attorney’s office in the near future, the department stated in a news release accompanying the documents.

“We are committed to providing a fair and impartial investigation into these allegations. In the interest of maintaining the integrity of the process, it would be inappropriate to comment further on this partial release of information,” Police Chief Will Johnson said in the release.

Hawthorne, one of Johnson’s three assistant chiefs, oversees the department’s Community Support Bureau. For several years, he was the department’s spokesman and was among the applicants for the chief’s job after the departure of Chief Theron Bowman.

Hawthorne graduated from O.D. Wyatt High School in Fort Worth and from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1983, which 20 years later gave him the Outstanding African American Alumnus award. Hawthorne has also received the NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall Award for Law Enforcement.

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