A San Diego police officer and his wife are going public with allegations of violence, substance abuse and mental instability after the officer was arrested twice in two weeks on domestic violence charges.
Officer Gilbert A. Lorenzo, 31, was arrested Monday outside a friend’s home on Terrakappa Avenue in Spring Valley. He was booked on felony domestic violence charges and released the next day.
His wife of four years, Tanya Lorenzo, spoke with NBC 7 and described an argument that turned violent in front of the couple's two daughters.
"I couldn't breathe and I was screaming for my life," the 24 year-old said.
Tanya claims Gilbert bit her on the back and dragged her by her neck along the ground. She said she grabbed his groin in self-defense but he did not let her go.
The fight ended when neighbors intervened and pulled Gilbert off of her, she said.
"I never thought he'd be capable of that,” she said adding that it was the first time she felt her life was in danger.
In a court document filed Tuesday, Lorenzo claims “I have never hit my wife nor would I ever do so. I am the victim of domestic violence, not the other way around.”
He alleges that Tanya is bipolar and sometimes takes prescription medication for the disorder. He also claims she has abused alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine.
He filed a formal request for custody of the children claiming their mother is “unpredictable” and “violent” and has threatened to take the girls to Mexico.
Tanya told NBC 7 she has never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and denies using drugs.
She said she’s angry with herself for recanting her story after Lorenzo’s initial arrest on April 27.
Tanya says she chose to stand by her man instead.
"I wanted to keep my family together because I didn't think it was that big a deal. When I felt this last time my life was in danger, then I can't forgive him. I can't help him," Tanya said.
Through his attorney, Gilbert Lorenzo told NBC 7 he has no comment at this time.
He was scheduled to be arraigned May 13 on domestic violence charges.