Quintana scrutinized for assault allegations

Aziza Musa

Less than a week after being reinstated to the Austin Police Department, Officer Leonardo Quintana is facing new scrutiny from the department after allegations of assault from his former girlfriend. The charges could amount to his fourth offense while on the force, which could result in another suspension or termination from the department.

The Austin Police Department could not release any details of the allegations because the internal investigation is ongoing. Austin Police Association President Wayne Vincent said he does not know the case’s facts or the outcomes.

“We’re just going to have to sit back and see what this is all about,” Vincent said. “Let the timing speak for itself.”

In his first offense, in 2006, Quintana was charged with criminal trespass when he brushed past his girlfriend’s arm to get his cruise ticket in her home. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo initially gave him a 15-day suspension but reduced it to a written reprimand.

Quintana became the center of controversy after he fatally shot 18-year-old Nathaniel Sanders II in May 2009, when his dashboard camera was turned off. He received a 15-day suspension for failing to activate the camera. His third offense, a driving-while-intoxicated charge, led Acevedo to suspend him indefinitely and Quintana to appeal.

APD officials said Thursday that management will stick to their original decision that Quintana had too many lapses in judgment. Hours after his reinstatement, Quintana learned about the assault allegations.

A dismissal board will review the investigation Wednesday afternoon and make a decision on Quintana’s punishment, which could range from a suspension to termination.