‘My mugshot is going to go out on the news’: Fired SAPD detective worried about publicity during family violence arrest

Daniel Pue, 37, scheduled for arbitration more than two years after family assault charge was dismissed

Days before a fired San Antonio police detective is scheduled for arbitration, records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show he was worried about negative publicity and claimed the only reason he was in custody for family violence was because he was a cop.

SAN ANTONIO – Days before a fired San Antonio police detective is scheduled for arbitration, records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show he was worried about negative publicity and claimed the only reason he was in custody for family violence was because he was a cop.

The files, provided to the Defenders following a request for public records, include SAPD body-worn camera footage, 911 audio and pictures from the 2019 internal affairs investigation of Detective Daniel Pue.

Body cam footage of former SAPD Detective Daniel Pue's arrest on Jan. 7, 2019.

Pue, 37, was arrested in January 2019 at his far West Side home, after a neighbor told police he witnessed the detective beating a woman in his front yard.

Pue, who was fired months after his arrest, later got the misdemeanor family assault charge dismissed, according to Bexar County court records.

He is scheduled to go before a third-party arbitrator beginning Tuesday, in an effort to be reinstated to the department.

“He just knocked her again. And again.”

The 911 caller told a Bexar County Sheriff’s dispatcher around 9 a.m. he was watching Pue attack the woman, describing the strikes as a combination of punches and back of the hand slaps, according to audio of the call.

“He just knocked her again. And again. Oh my God, how sad,” said the caller, who described the victim as bleeding from her nose.

Pue, who was still outside near the woman whose face was covered in blood when deputies arrived, then went inside his home and closed the door, according to his BCSO arrest report.

The off-duty SAPD detective was then taken into custody after a deputy kicked through his door and threatened to use a stun gun on him, according to the report.

SAPD Detective Daniel Pue talks to a fellow officer prior to being arrested by BCSO in January 2019. (KSAT)

Pue, who was likely unaware that a neighbor had called 911 and described the attack, told a fellow SAPD officer who responded to the scene that the woman had tried to get into his home.

“We wouldn’t be in this situation if I wasn’t a cop,” said Pue, who was recorded by the officer’s body-worn camera while Pue sat in handcuffs in the back of a BCSO patrol vehicle.

“I’m at my own house. This crazy chick comes here and I’m the one in trouble,” said Pue. “Here I am, going to get (expletive) over because some (expletive) wants to come to my house.”

Pue also repeatedly denied that he was still in a romantic relationship with the woman, claiming the alleged assault was, therefore, not a case of family violence.

“My mugshot is going to go out on the news tonight. I’m not stupid. I know how this goes. My mugshot is going to go out on the news tonight,” said Pue, whose arrest was reported hours after he was taken into custody. “I should feel safe in my own house, but I know my own department is going to hang me on it.”

Both the victim and Pue smelled of intoxicants at the time of Pue’s arrest, according to the BCSO incident report.

Following Pue’s arrest, a fellow officer went to internal affairs and said that he had a run-in with Pue shortly before his arrest.

The officer, who KSAT is not naming because he was not disciplined for the incident, was sleeping next to the victim at her apartment around 2 a.m.

“Next thing I know Daniel Pue walks in the bedroom. I’m both shocked and embarrassed,” said the officer during the taped interview, obtained by the Defenders earlier this year.

He said Pue referred to the woman as his girlfriend and wanted to know if anything sexual had taken place.

The officer told Pue nothing sexual had happened and left because he did not want to be involved in their conflict, according to his interview.

The altercation happened around seven hours before Pue was arrested, according to the officer. He said Pue texted him after the encounter and repeatedly called him, at one point contacting him from a blocked number.

The officer told internal affairs he came forward because he wanted nothing to do with the situation.

SAPD’s subsequent internal affairs investigation uncovered that Pue had used his police resources on several occasions to search the woman’s name on the National Crime Information Center database and Texas Crime Information Center database and had messaged her from his city-issued cellphone.

According to the investigation report summary, Pue had texted her the same day of his arrest, writing “Enjoy ur life,” and “U wanted to (expletive) other people. There u go. Bye.” Pue used his city-issued phone to communicate with her on at least three other occasions in September 2018.

The investigative report states that Pue also searched for protected information about her on NCIC and TCIC on his city-issued computer.

Pue was issued an indefinite suspension in July 2019 based on allegations that he broke rules regarding the truthfulness of members, responsibility to serve the public, use of intoxicants and waste or conversion of city equipment.

By the time he was fired, however, the family assault charge had been dismissed. The charge was tossed out by a special prosecutor in May 2019, after Pue completed an anger management class, according to court records and previous statements made by the special prosecutor.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales recused himself from the case after learning that one of Pue’s relatives works for him.

“You know, they’re on your team. They testify for you. You go to the same social events. You believe yourselves to be working for the same things, right?” said Donna Coltharp, an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law and an assistant federal public defender, when asked about the difficulty of prosecuting law enforcement officers accused of criminal wrongdoing.

“So in the ordinary criminal case the prosecutors and law enforcement are on the same side. That creates, sometimes it creates obvious and apparent and worrisome conflicts. It also creates human conflicts,” said Coltharp.

Pue’s arbitration hearings were postponed twice in 2020, while the city grappled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The hearings are now scheduled to begin Tuesday at the Rio Vista Conference Room on S. St. Mary’s Street.

If Pue is reinstated, SAPD officials will have to determine whether he still needs to serve a separate three-day suspension.

That suspension was handed down in October 2019, months after Pue confronted a fellow officer who voted in the internal affairs case stemming from his family violence arrest.

The internal affairs report indicates that a visibly upset and angry Pue confronted a female officer and asked about the results of a Complaint and Administrative Review Board meeting, even though she was not allowed to discuss it.

Pue was suspended for violating department rules related to responsibility to serve the public.

He did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Pue recently worked as reserve officer with the Leon Valley Police Department, but the agency’s chief said Pue’s commission ended in April.

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About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.