Kevin Cokely, NBC 5 News
Arlington Police Assistant Chief James Hawthorne remains on administrative leave after being arrested over the weekend for family violence.
Arlington police assistant chief James Hawthorne was arrested overnight following a domestic disturbance call at his home.
According to Arlington police, officers were dispatched to Hawthorne's home at about 1 a.m. Sunday. Hawthorne was off-duty and was arrested for family violence by officers from his own department.
Police did not release any further details into the events at Hawthorne's home.
"I am deeply disappointed that an Arlington assistant police chief was involved in an incident of domestic violence. Regardless of who you are or where you work, domestic violence will not be tolerated or ignored in our community," said Will Johnson, Arlington chief of police, in a statement.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, Hawthorne appeared with Johnson at a run/walk event, held in partnership with STAND, to end domestic violence. The department tweeted out a photo of Hawthorne and Johnson with several other runners at the event at River Legacy Park. In the embedded Twitter photo below, Hawthorne is the second from the right.
Chief Johnson, Asst. Chief Hawthorne & police family are at River Legacy for first Run/Walk to end domestic violence. pic.twitter.com/6uMO4fni40
— Arlington Police, TX (@ArlingtonPD) November 16, 2013
“STAND organization does not condone domestic violence. It is an unfortuante incident that has come to the community's attention and we are praying for assisstant chief Hawthorne and his family at this time," the organization Stand Together Against Nationwide Domestic Violence, said in a statement on Monday.
Cristina Nguyen said she's been the Hawthorne family's neighbor about 15 years.
"It’s kind of a shock this might have happened last night,” said Nguyen, while out walking her baby in a stroller near the Hawthorne home. “We would always drive by and he was such a friendly man waving at us.”
No one answered the Hawthorne's door when NBC 5 knocked on it, but there were people inside. While none of the neighbors we talked to heard a commotion coming from the house on Saturday night, two did notice something bizarre.
“Last night we just got home late after watching the fight at a buddy’s house and all my neighbor’s clothes were out in the yard and out in the street,” said Richard Gorlick, neighbor.
Nguyen said she saw the same thing.
“All of a sudden I saw clothes scattered everywhere in the yard,“ said Nguyen. “At first I thought maybe it was a prank. Then I said, ‘No, this looks weird.’”
Both neighbors said they’d never heard of any problems at the house or with the Hawthorne family.
“They’re very quiet,” said Gorlik. “Very nice people. He’s (James Hawthorne) one of my neighbors that always waves at you, says hello in the morning. Really nice guy.”
Police said Hawthorne has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal and administrative investigations.
"Regarding the recent arrest of Assistant Chief Hawthorne, since all the facts about the incident are not yet known it is premature to jump to potentially unfair conclusions at this point. There is already a system in place to ensure justice is served, one way or the other, and this case still needs to go through that process," said Becki Brandenburg, president of the Arlington Police Association. "Chief Johnson holds Arlington officers to a high standard and the Arlington Police Association, in turn, expects our command staff to represent the department in the best possible way. With all the great things our officers do, we are disappointed to be in the public eye under these circumstances."
Hawthorne has been with the Arlington Police Department since 1985 and serves in the Community Support Bureau.
NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.