A San Diego Police sergeant on administrative leave pleaded not guilty to domestic abuse allegations Monday.
Sergeant Oscar Armenta was arrested just after 8 p.m. Sunday, July 3, following an incident that occurred near Island and Seventh avenues in San Diego's East Village, police department officials said.
Details were not provided by the SDPD other than to say the incident involved domestic violence. Witnesses said Armenta was arguing with his girlfriend when the alleged violence happened.
Armenta, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, was booked into the county jail, police said.
In court Monday, Armenta pleaded not guilty through an attorney to a felony domestic violence abuse charge, a misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge and two simple battery charges, stemming from injuries Good Samaritans sustained when they tried to intervene.
"Any domestic violence incident is enormously regrettable and unfortunate and we in the District Attorney’s office treat every domestic violence offender the same," said Deputy District Attorney Melissa Diaz.
Armenta does not have a prior record, she said.
Diaz said they have asked for a criminal protective order for the victim and for the Good Samaritans that tried to intervene. She later added the DA's office will subpoena the victim to testify.
Armenta has been employed with the SDPD for 13 years, according to spokesperson Lt. Scott Wahl.
"We hold ourselves to the highest standards and take the conduct of all our employees very seriously," Wahl said. "This matter will be investigated thoroughly and he is facing both criminal and administrative consequences as a result of this incident."
Armenta was placed on administrative leave while the incident is under investigation.
He is expected to appear in court again on Aug. 22.
If he is found guilty, Armenta could face 4 years and six months in prison.