Former Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was released from jail early Wednesday in Dallas on a family violence charge, police say.
An NBC 5 camera was at the Dallas County Jail as 75-year old Dewhurst left around 5 a.m.
The Dallas Police Department announced the arrest in a news release shortly before midnight Tuesday.
According to police, officers were called to a disturbance in the DoubleTree Hotel near Dallas Love Field around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
An arrest record said Dewhurst was chasing a woman on a patio area near the hotel entrance when she fell and hit her head on a concrete bench. The record said Dewhurst was trying to retrieve a laptop computer from the woman.
The 41-year old woman told police the couple had been in an intimate, dating relationship for more than two years. NBC 5 withholds the names and pictures of domestic violence victims.
News reports show the same woman was arrested in Houston last year for assaulting Dewhurst. He suffered two broken ribs but the charges against her were later dropped.
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Public records show the couple share the same Houston drivers license address, but court records show the woman had a different home address after her Houston arrest. It was not clear why they were in Dallas Tuesday.
Former Dallas County Chief Assistant District Attorney Heath Harris said many Texas programs are aimed at avoiding repeat family violence incidents.
"We want to make sure we get people the tools that they need to address their domestic discord before it escalates to more violence," Harris said. "Domestic violence cases are taken very seriously here in Dallas County. Police officers have a wide range of discretion in regards to whether or not they even file a case like this. I guarantee you the investigation will continue."
Dewhurst was booked in the Dallas County jail on a charge of misdemeanor family violence with injury. He was released early Wednesday on a $1,000 bond, according to jail records.
Harris said the charge carries a possible penalty of up to a year in jail but the former Lieutenant Governor is likely to avoid additional time in jail.
It was not immediately clear whether Dewhurst had an attorney.
The Dallas Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit will continue the investigation.
Dewhurst, a Republican, served 12 years as lieutenant governor before losing his bid for a fourth term in 2014. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2012, losing to Ted Cruz.
Southern Methodist Political Science Expert Cal Jillson said Dewhurst was once one of the most powerful public officials in Texas.
"He was a widely respected politician, sort of of the old school. He was a business-friendly Republican, but less comfortable with the social issues that have come to be the forte of the Republican Party," Jillson said.
The loss to Cruz was the beginning of the end of Dewhurst's political career, Jillson said.
Dewhurst declined comment as he left the jail early Wednesday.