An Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested Saturday evening after a colleague said he saw the deputy choking a woman near the Sheriff’s Office, authorities said Tuesday.
Sgt. Shawfeek Preston, 29, was booked on one count of domestic battery, said Marc Ehrhardt, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
Preston turned himself in to authorities and was suspended from his position, Ehrhardt said.
A fellow deputy told the agency’s Internal Affairs Division that he heard a “disturbance” near a Sheriff’s Office facility on South White Street, according to a statement released by Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
“Upon investigating,” the statement said, “this OPSO deputy witnessed Preston allegedly choking a female near her vehicle.”
The deputy came between Preston and the woman, authorities said, and the Sheriff’s Office began an investigation. A person familiar with the allegations said Preston had been in a romantic relationship with the woman.
Preston was not on duty at the time. He declined to comment Tuesday.
The incident is not the first time Preston has been accused of violence. Earlier this year, he was sued in U.S. District Court by an inmate who claimed that Preston and another deputy, Sgt. Ian Taylor, assaulted him at Orleans Parish Prison last year. The inmate, Ricky Powell, said the attack left him with head injuries and blurred vision.
The lawsuit alleges that Preston and Taylor wrestled Powell to the floor and that Taylor punched the inmate with a closed fist and struck him with a wooden toilet bowl brush.
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