Mistress in fired SAPD detective arbitration showed signs of ‘battered women’s syndrome,’ witness testifies

Fired detective Daniel Pue attempting to win back job more than two years after being terminated

SAN ANTONIO – Daniel Pue was a good detective with a messy personal life, and when those two worlds collided, he was unfairly targeted by his own department, Pue stated in evidence presented Thursday during the third day of his arbitration hearing.

Pue, 37, was fired from the San Antonio Police Department two summers ago, months after Bexar County Sheriff’s investigators said he repeatedly punched a woman outside his far West Side home.

The woman, who attorneys for Pue have repeatedly warned not to call a “victim,” was Pue’s mistress of five years.

Deputies describe ‘distraught,’ bloodied woman during first day of arbitration for fired SAPD detective

In an interview with a San Antonio police detective recorded two weeks after his early January 2019 arrest, Pue acknowledged that his mistress was also his cousin. He said during the interrogation that he did not know her while growing up and discovered they were related only after he had met her out at a bar.

Daniel Pue (left) is interviewed by SAPD Detective Manuel Nunez on January 23, 2019. (KSAT)

Thursday’s hearing, which bounced between SAPD evidence being presented by attorneys for the city and in-person testimony, put Pue’s personal life on full display.

SAPD Detective Manuel Nunez, who was assigned to investigate whether Pue had broken into his mistresses’ apartment hours before his arrest, testified that the woman became less and less cooperative each time he attempted to interview her.

“I hate to say this, but this is so in line with battered women’s syndrome,” testified Nunez, who added that the woman’s story changed and that she eventually began to blame herself for Pue getting in trouble.

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

Pue admitted to going to the woman’s apartment and walking in on her sleeping next to another SAPD officer, but told Nunez in the taped interview he was trying to catch her with someone else so he could end his extramarital affair.

“This is all a bunch of B.S.,” said Pue early in the interview. He criticized his own department for investigating him and did not feel that he should lose his job.

Pue, during the interview, described his mistress as controlling and that he felt trapped in the relationship.

“Having to keep her happy was an extreme stress on my life,” said Pue during the interview.

Evidence photos showed the woman’s apartment doorframe was damaged. Pue, contradicting official SAPD records of the incident, said the damage occurred from him pulling on the door from the inside while trying to leave, according to his interview with Nunez.

Nunez at times implored Pue to be honest during the lengthy interrogation.

Pue’s wife, who was interviewed on the phone by Nunez as part of the criminal investigation, at first said she found the mistress’ cell phone in the backyard of her and Pue’s home. During the same conversation, however, Pue’s wife changed her story and admitted that she had found it on a downstairs recliner. She added that she took the phone with her to work and planned to confront Pue about it later.

Pue’s wife said he had not instructed her to lie about where she found the phone.

Nunez, when later questioned by an assistant city attorney about his interview with Pue’s wife, testified that her story had inconsistencies and that she was not a credible witness.

A key nexus of Pue’s bid to win reinstatement is his assertion that his mistress showed up at his house, ostensibly to retrieve her phone, and that she suffered injuries to her face while trying to get through the front door.

In a 911 call previously released to the KSAT 12 Defenders, Pue’s neighbor told a county dispatcher he was witnessing Pue standing over the woman in the front yard, repeatedly striking her with a combination of punches and back of the hand slaps.

The injuries described by the neighbor, including blood coming from the woman’s face, matched crime scene photos taken by BCSO investigators.

Pue, when questioned by Nunez about how the phone got inside Pue’s home, said his mistress may have slipped it into his pants while they argued at her apartment, according to the taped interview.

Pue was able to get the misdemeanor family assault charged dismissed in May 2019, after Pue completed an anger management class, according to court records and previous statements made by the special prosecutor.

He was never criminally charged for the alleged break-in at his mistress’ apartment.

About the Authors:

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

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.