Authorities arrested a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Thursday on suspicion of breaking into his ex-fiance’s house, threatening her boyfriend with a gun and punching him while off-duty last year.
Reymundo Lainez, 42, of Los Angeles, was booked on suspicion of felony counts of burglary, assault with a firearm and making criminal threats, as well as a misdemeanor count of battery, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
He also goes by the alias Reynaldo Edmundo Lainez, which is the name he was listed under in sheriff’s booking records.
“While off-duty on April 17, 2010, Lainez allegedly broke into his former fiance’s Pasadena residence and pointed a gun at her boyfriend. He allegedly threatened the man then punched him,” the statement said.
Pasadena police officers took him into custody without incident early Thursday at his Los Angeles home, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
In the 2010 incident, officers responded to a 9-1-1 call at a home in the 1700 block of Casitas Avenue, where a woman reported her ex-fiance had forced his way into her home through a door, Ibarra said.
“They made contact with a female, who made allegations that (Lainez) had pointed his handgun at a male visitor she had at the location, and subsequent to that, punched the victim,” the lieutenant said.
Lainez was initially arrested but quickly posted bail, Ibarra said. In recent weeks, prosecutors notified police of their intention to file a criminal case, and an arrest warrant was obtained.
Lainez was last assigned to the sheriff’s Temple City Station, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said. He was first hired as a deputy in February of 2000.
An internal investigation into Lainez was concluded in January, before the district attorney’s office had made a decision on whether to pursue criminal charges, Whitmore said.
“On Jan. 26, he was notified as to the results of our internal investigation,” he said. “He’s no longer a part of our sheriff’s department.”
Whitmore said sheriff’s personnel policies prohibited him from saying whether the deputy had been terminated or resigned.
The internal investigation into Lainez was carried out alongside of the criminal probe, Whitmore said. Traditionally, sheriff’s officials have waited for criminal investigations into alleged deputy misconduct to be finished before launching an internal investigation.
“This is one of the first times, not the first, where this occurred, because the evidence was overwhelming,” Whitmore said. “She Sheriff said ‘I don’t want to wait.’”
A recent investigation into a brawl at a Montebello Christmas party among sheriff’s deputies was handled in a similar fashion.
An internal investigation into the fight at the Quiet Cannon banquet hall was concluded in mid-March and the department began termination proceedings against six deputies.
The investigations are indicative of a changing philosophy toward deputy discipline in the sheriff’s department, Whitmore said.
“The Sheriff is not going to wait (for the criminal investigation) anymore,” he said. “When there are indications that the department should move forward in an appropriate fashion, Sheriff Baca will do so.”
Three months prior to the alleged domestic violence incident, Lainez made headlines for his role in rescuing a badly-burned elderly man from a burning Temple City home.
Lainez, the first official to arrive at the scene of the Jan. 29 fire at 10165 Bogue Street, and good Samaritans entered the burning home to pull out an 87-year-old man who had suffered burns to more than 80 percent of his body, sheriff’s and fire officials said at the time.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Lainez was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. No information was available regarding his initial court appearance.
If convicted as charged, Lainez could face more than 16 years in state prison.