By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |
A jailhouse sergeant at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office was booked in Jefferson Parish with domestic abuse battery and aggravated assault 10 days ago, records show, and a co-worker at the Orleans Parish Prison said the sergeant hasn’t been to work since.
Sgt. William Holmes was arrested at his home April 9 after his wife called 911 and later told police that he threatened her with a handgun in front of their three small children.
But Holmes told the Jefferson deputy who responded that his wife, June Holmes, was the aggressor. Both were listed as victims and suspects on the resulting report.
This incident, called in to a reporter by a tipster, comes to light four days after The Lens reported that another Orleans Parish deputy was arrested – while working at the jail – after allegedly punching his ex-girlfriend in the face earlier in the day when she refused to discuss rumors that he had been having sex with male inmates.
Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman refused to comment on either incident, and he didn’t comply with a request for his policy regarding the arrest of his deputies.
[Update, 4/20/11:] The more information the public has in these situations, the better, Susan Hutson, the city’s Independent Police Monitor said. While her job is to monitor the New Orleans Police Department and not to monitor Gusman’s office, she did speak in general terms about situations where law enforcement officers are arrested.
“To me, the more information the public has about its departments, the sheriff, police, the bridge police, the better, and I’m definitely in favor of that,” Hutson said.
A deputy on duty at the House of Detention said Tuesday that Holmes has not been back at work since his arrest.
Holmes and his wife offered differing accounts of a domestic dispute at their home to Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Blandford, who arrived on the scene after separate phone calls from the couple.
In his report, Blandford said June Holmes described her husband calling her “vulgar names” and then pointing a handgun at her. She locked herself in the bathroom, but her husband kicked down the door, grabbed her by the back of the neck and ripped off her wig, she told Blandford. June Holmes then said she defended herself by dousing her husband with pepper spray, the report says.
She said her husband then ran out and hid his gun in his truck, according to the report.
William Holmes told the investigator that his wife threatened him with a kitchen knife during a verbal argument and pepper sprayed him in the face without provocation, the report says. Holmes denied kicking in the bathroom door and denied having a gun during the altercation.
Blandford’s report says he saw a “large black foot print on the outside” of the bathroom door.
Holmes and his wife were booked on the same charges, and they will appear at separate status hearings on May 24.
Holmes and his wife did not answer the door at their home today.