ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A high-profile Albuquerque police officer remains in jail as new information emerges about past reports of domestic violence involving Officer Filiberto "Joey" Sigala and his wife.
Sigala, until recently president of the Albuquerque Police Department officers' union, was arrested Wednesday evening several hours after his wife reported that he attacked her.
On Thursday afternoon he went before a Metropolitan Court judge to face charges for false imprisonment and aggravated burglary. The judge set his bond at $10,000 cash or surety, meaning he need only post $1,000 for the surety bond.
Late in the afternoon he was still in jail.
According to police, this episode began shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday when Sigala's wife was visiting a friend. Sigala, driving his unmarked APD car and wearing his uniform, badge and gun, showed up just after he got off duty.
Investigators allege he was mad because he thought his wife was cheating on him.
She told police he threw a cell phone charger at her and stole money and her EBT card.
Witnesses outside the house said Sigala hit his wife in the face and then drove off.
He was arrested several hours later.
KRQE News 13 has learned Rio Rancho police responded to three domestic-dispute calls involving the Sigalas in the past three years.
In late 2009, Sigala's wife claimed her husband had grabbed her arm, and held a gun to her head. She told this to her neighbor, an APD sergeant, who said he saw a bruise on her arm and reported her claims to both Rio Rancho police and his superiors.
He also said Mrs. Sigala was clearly impaired.
Rio Rancho police say when they confronted Joey Sigala he denied the incident and said he hadn't even seen his wife that day.
Earlier that year, Sigala's wife also called police saying she and Sigala were fighting at their Rio Rancho home. When officers showed up, she claimed things never got physical.
And two months ago, someone called Rio Rancho police about the two fighting. Both Sigalas said the fight never turned physical.
No charges were filed in any of those cases.
"Because somebody may or may not have done something in the past, we do not collectively hold that information until we have a case such as yesterday to combine them," APD Deputy Chief Paul Feist said.
Sigala was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest.
Sigala and the union vice president both resigned from the Albuquerque Police Officers Association during a controversy over payments made to officers involved in shooting. The payments were intended to allow officers to leave town for a few days as a stress reducer, but critics tried to label the payments a bounty.
New leadership also has called for an audit of APOA finances, and New Mexico State Police are also investigating both Sigala and his wife over payments made to them from union funds.
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