Hidalgo Police Chief Rodolfo “Rudy” Espinoza was arrested early Thursday morning on a domestic violence charge following an incident in which the sheriff’s office was called to a Mission residence.
A deputy arrived to the Inspiration Road home at 11:39 p.m. Wednesday, according to the probable cause affidavit tied to the arrest, and Espinoza’s common-law wife told the deputy Espinoza had allegedly grabbed her by the neck.
The woman told the deputy she and Espinoza, 64, had lived together for more than a year, and “they began to argue when she returned home from (a) party.”
The party took place across the river in Reynosa earlier Wednesday, and the woman “did not tell Rodolfo that she was going,” according to the affidavit.
The argument escalated and Espinoza “grabbed her by the neck and pinned her against a wall, causing pain but she was still able to breathe.” When she told Espinoza she wanted to leave, he “grabbed her by her left arm forcing her down to the sofa and pressing down on her chest with both of his hands.”
The affidavit notes the woman displayed redness on her neck and chest.
Deputies arrested Espinoza at 1:05 a.m. Thursday on a Class A misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury to a family member, according to Deputy Jena Palacios-Pacheco, spokeswoman for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. A sheriff’s office news release states the arrest was made “to prevent further family violence.”
Precinct 5, Place 1 Justice of the Peace Jason Peña gave Espinoza a $5,000 personal recognizance bond during his arraignment Thursday afternoon, and he was released from jail shortly thereafter. If convicted, the charge carries up to a year in county jail and up to a $4,000 fine.
The chief has been on paid suspension since Oct. 16.
The city is investigating “allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct and potential conflict of interests,” according to the suspension letter Hidalgo City Manager Julian Gonzalez sent Espinoza.
The status of the investigation remains unknown, and Gonzalez did not return a request for comment Thursday on Espinoza’s arrest. He has repeatedly ignored requests for comment on the city’s investigation into the chief.
Espinoza has served as the city’s chief since 2012. Before then, he had been employed by the sheriff’s office since 2005.
The investigation into the family violence investigation involving the chief remains ongoing, according to the sheriff’s news release.