SAPD detective fired for threatening mistress wins job back in arbitration

Discipline reduced to 90-day suspension

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SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio police detective who was fired last June after leaving threatening voicemails to his mistress will return to the force after his termination was overturned in arbitration.

The police department’s public information office confirmed Thursday that the Det. Emanuel Keith’s indefinite suspension was reduced to a 90-day suspension instead.

Fired SAPD detective fights for his job, new records reveal threatening voicemails left to mistress

“In accordance with this decision, the department will begin the return to duty process,” according to the statement released by the public information office.

Keith, a 23-year veteran, is the first San Antonio police officer to win his job through arbitration in 2020.

The detective was fired after threatening his mistress. In one of the messages, Keith told the woman he wanted to “choke the life out of” her.

The two first began having an affair in 2006 and continued to see each other on and off for more than a decade, according to internal investigation records.

After a breakup in May 2018, things grew more tense between the pair.

The woman told police that Keith called her about 10 times one morning that month and sent threatening text messages.

“Why are you harassing me and (redacted)? This is the end for you. You’re going to die b—ch,” one of the messages read, according to the records.

FIRST REPORT: ‘Choke the life out of you’: SAPD detective fired after threatening ex

It was then that Keith also left two threatening voicemails.

“I’m sick and tired of you,” Keith said. “I could choke the life out of you right now. Stop. This is the last warning.”

Keith did not deny leaving the threatening messages, according to the records.

“I was upset but I did not genuinely mean the words in the messages I left for her,” Keith wrote in a response to the allegations. “I was attempting to scare her to leave me alone. That was all.”

Keith told investigators the woman harassed him constantly.

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Even after the woman filed a police report against Keith, she continued calling him, records show.

An internal affairs investigator called the woman to remind her not to contact Keith, according to one of the phone calls obtained by KSAT-12.

Detectives submitted the case to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in July 2018, but the case was rejected in April 2019.

About the Authors:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.