Cop accused of sexting crime victim gets reinstated
BRIDGEPORT - A veteran city police detective, placed on administrative leave last year following complaints he had sent unwanted sexually explicit texts to a crime victim, has been reinstated.
Police Chief Armando Perez confirmed Wednesday that Detective David Garcia, a member of the department for 18 years, is back in the detective bureau after being suspended without pay for 30 days.
The chief added that Garcia used bankable holiday time for the suspension.
“This is the last chance he gets,” the chief said. If he messes up he is done. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior from my officers.”
But Bridgeport lawyer, Robert Berke, who represents the female crime victim said the suspension “Appears to be a rather minor sanction for the conduct.”
In a civil rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against the Police Department, the Bridgeport mother of a 2-year-old child claimed the 49-year-old Garcia sent her a half-dozen sexually explicit texts after investigating a burglary at her home.
The woman, who works as a house cleaner in Monroe, said she had no personal relationship with Garcia, and that the texts were unprovoked and unwanted.
In March 2016, the suit states, Garcia, with no encouragement from the woman, began sending her sexually explicit text messages that included him describing in detail sexual positions he wanted her to assume with him and sexual actions he wished to perform on her.
The suit said the violent nature of sexual acts described in the texts frightened the woman.
“Detective Garcia’s calculated behaviors in his capacity as a detective, with the goal to gain continued access to the plaintiff for sexual purposes, were extreme and go beyond all bounds of decency and were utterly intolerable,” the lawsuit states.
The woman also filed a complaint with the city’s Office of Internal Affairs and gave investigators her cell phone, which contained the alleged texts.
Perez confirmed that OIA completed its investigation and found Garcia violated department rules.
“He messed up but there is more to the story that I can’t talk about because it is still in court, but I decided to have him back at work where he could be supervised,” Perez said.
Garcia was promoted to detective in 2009. In February 2014, he was charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct after Bridgeport police said he hit his wife in the eye following a dispute in their home. The charges were dropped after Garcia completed a domestic violence counseling program.