Thomas Jones, an officer with the Boynton Beach Police Department, has been fired following his arrest for domestic battery in January of last year. Jones was acquitted in a jury trial in April, but in a memo released today, Boynton Beach City Manager Kurt Bressner explained that the "legal standard of proof for a criminal case is different from the standard of proof for a disciplinary action, as in this matter."
The incident in question occurred on the afternoon of January 31, after Jones' wife, who's not named, demanded to know where Jones had been the night before and where he had left the car.
According to the incident report:
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Jones became noticeably annoyed with the constant questioning, to the point where he became outraged and began to repeatedly punch her in the face (forehead, eyes and nose area) with a closed fist.
Jones' told police that she fell to the floor and that Jones then kicked her repeatedly and called her "vulgar names." As she tried to get up, Jones' wife claims he put her in a chokehold. She escaped from the house, then called a friend, Cynthia Rivera, who's also a Boynton Beach Police officer.
Jones filed a complaint with Internal Affairs, alleging that his wife lied in her account of their altercation. In an interview last June, he described how he'd gone to the Carolina Ale House in Boynton on the night of January 30, then to Platinum Showgirls. He alleged that his wife had kicked him and poured water over him in an attempt to wake him and learn the location of their vehicle. Jones denied having punched or kicked her or pulled his wife's hair, as she claimed. Rather, Jones characterized their encounter as being one between "mutual combatants" and said he'd only tried to defend himself from his wife's punches.
The department's Internal Affairs unit found that "it is more likely than not that Officer Thomas Jones committed domestic battery on his wife."