Assault charges, violations lead to officer’s second firing

Aziza Musa

Austin police officer Leonardo Quintana was fired Wednesday for the second time in five months for violating company policy, said Austin Police Department spokesman Cpl. Scott Perry.

A dismissal board reviewed the investigation of assault allegations from Quintana’s former fiancee Wednesday afternoon prior to his indefinite suspension. The assault charges, which surfaced last Thursday just hours after Quintana was reinstated, amounted to his fourth offense while on the force.

Quintana became a center of controversy in May 2009, when he fatally shot 18-year-old Nathaniel Sanders. The officer received a 15-day suspension for failure to activate his dashboard camera at the time of the incident. Eight months later, he faced charges for driving while intoxicated after he crashed his car in a Leander neighborhood. His blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit at the time.

APD Chief Art Acevedo fired Quintana after the DWI, causing the officer to petition. An arbitrator, however, reinstated him on Oct. 21 because no other officers with the same offense had faced termination.

In addition to the other charges, Quintana faces two lawsuits related to the May shooting.