“So Why Did U Really Hit Me?”

Paul Bass File PhotoWhile on duty and in full uniform, Officer Juan Monzon showed up at his girlfriend’s house. They got into a fight over child support payments, and he allegedly unholstered his service handgun and pointed it at her.

“There are a lot of unsolved homicides in New Haven. I would shoot you with this gun, but they count the bullets,” Monzon (pictured) told her, according to an arrest warrant affidavit on file in Superior Court.

Monzon, a 14-year veteran of the New Haven police department, turned himself in at police headquarters Tuesday and was arrested on charges of risk of injury to a minor, assault in the third degree and threatening in the first degree. He has surrendered his gun and has been placed on administrative duty, according to police spokesman Officer Dave Hartman.

He made an appearance in Superior Court Wednesday. His case was continued.

Contacted after he appeared in court Wednesday morning, Monzon told the Independent, “I’m pleading not guilty. I’m going to leave it to the court to decide who’s guilty and who’s not. I know I’m not guilty.” He said he plans to hire a lawyer. He said he wants to withhold further comment for now.

The department has placed him on administrative duty pending the outcome of his case.

The arrest warrant affidavit, written by Detective Wilfredo Cruz, details the investigation that led up to the arrest. Here’s what happened, according to Cruz:

On Friday, a woman called the Internal Affairs department and said she wanted to file an assault complaint against Officer Monzon. She told Cruz that Monzon, who’s married to another woman, is the father of her 2-year-old daughter. They met and exchanged numbers on Sept. 17, 2008, when he responded to her apartment on a burglary complaint.

The girlfriend provided a taped statement recounting allegations of abuse at Monzon’s hands. She told police that on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 23, she confronted Monzon about paying child support for their daughter. She threatened to tell his wife about their relationship.  Monzon allegedly pulled his gun and issued his threat. He told he that he has four to five guns at home that are registered to him. The woman “stated that she assumed Officer Monzon implied that he would shoot her with one of his other personal guns,” Cruz writes.

Later on Wednesday, at 11 p.m., Monzon returned to the apartment and the couple fell into arguing again. It got physical. Cruz writes: “[The woman] showed me a bruise mark to her right forearm where Officer Monzon pinned her down on the bed with his knees. He also struck [the woman] on her chest with a closed fist while she was holding their crying daughter. [The woman] said the argument was over child support money, his not being a part of their daughter’s life, his lying to her and him not taking care of the paternity acknowledgement application.”

The woman told Cruz that Monzon hit her in the eye during an argument in 2010, causing swelling. She “talked about an incident on October 26, 2012, in which she and Office Monzon argued at her residence over child support and his seeing other women. [The woman] informed him that she was going to confront his wife and tell her all about their relationship. During the argument, Officer Monzon picked [the woman] up and body-slammed her onto the couch in the living room.”

The woman told Cruz that she and Monzon had had about 10 “physical confrontations” at her apartment since August 2010, about half of which occurred while he was on duty.

The woman showed Cruz text messages she had saved on her cell phone. In a message from Nov. 20, 2012, the woman wrote “So why did u really hit me?” Officer Monzon replied, “Because you didn’t let me leave.”

Contacted by Cruz, Monzon declined to give a statement, according to the affidavit.

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posted by: Greg-Morehead on January 30, 2013  5:14pm

Another day of “WOW” !

With me being a former Alderman in the Dixwell area, I have had MUCH contact with Officer Monzon.  He has shown me and my constituents nothing but respect.  Always was the one to provide information and keep me informed on things that were happening in the area. 

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and there are always two sides to every story.  We’ll see how this plays out in court.  WOW

posted by: new havener on January 30, 2013  9:09pm

hitting a woman, going to her house while on duty…repeatedly(that’s what we call getting paid not to work), threatening with firearms,cheating on his wife, non-support of his child, and hitting -up on crime victims for dates….what we have here, even if 1/2 is true, is a bad cop.

posted by: formerNhresident on January 31, 2013  1:02am

Not surprise about the philandering but disappointed about th domestic violence if the allegations are true.

posted by: NHPDHartman on January 31, 2013  11:12am

And here I thought you’d stick to your own policy, NHI. That lasted 1 day.

[Editor’s note: We withhold the names of people accused of a crime unless we get their side, or they’re public figures, or if there’s a pressing public need to know the name. Often there are grey area calls. This was one of them.]

I hardly think confronting the Officer at court is “getting their side”.

Officers serve the public. That doesn’t make them public figures.

Whoever commits a crime should have their day in court. If found guilty, they should be punished.

If he’s found not guilty, who from the NHI is going to be there to apologize? At that point, who’d care? How would you possibly undo the damage you’d done. Again, ‘if’.

[Editor: We didn’t “confront the officer at court.” I personally had two conversations with him outside of court. I agree with you—we make mistakes with our policy, and it’s a grey area. In this case I wanted to wait until we were comfortable that we had the officer’s side and that he agreed to be quoted.]

posted by: NHPDHartman on January 31, 2013  1:47pm

My apologies to the NHI. I’ve been told Officer Monzon and Paul spoke face to face on Wednesday. I misinterpreted the Officer’s quick quotes in the article declaring his innocence as a failure to include his side. Bad assumption on my part.

Still, I submit an unfortunately large number of press releases regarding similar accusations of civilians. Names in? Never. Even in cases where the evidence is overwhelming and the perpetrator’s criminal history alone would be worth a mention.

I’m uneasy on the NHI ‘public figure’ issue. The city employs over 4,000 people. We’ve elected 35. Does that make them all public figures? Would this story exist if the accused was a board of education administrative assistant, a parks department arborist, a DPW plow truck operator or an assistant librarian? I can go back several months and come up with a few who’d been charged and not named. Why should a person’s employment determine the likelihood he or she would be criminally outed before they’ve had their day in court. We don’t vote the employees into work.

In the several conversations I’ve had with Paul and his band of talented NHI writers, the idea is, in part, that if the accused is found not guilty, a future employer’s background check wouldn’t turn up a muddied history - at least not with NHI mud.

I may not agree, but I understand.

Now, there are two possible outcomes in this case for Officer Monzon. Guilty - punished. Not guilty - punished.