RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – He was an Albuquerque Police officer, but now he’s behind bars, accused of beating up his girlfriend. Newly released police video shows the moment the former officer found himself in handcuffs.
Jeffrey Wharton resigned shortly after he was arrested last month. Rio Rancho Police video shows officers arresting the 31-year-old while he was still on duty.
“Right now, we do have a warrant for your arrest. It’s for aggravated battery against a household member, two counts of that. Kidnapping and interference with communication,” said a Rio Rancho detective.
According to the criminal complaint, Wharton beat his girlfriend so badly, she had several gashes on her head and face. Police say her injuries were so severe, she had to be taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a brain bleed.
Police say a part of the beating was also caught on the couple’s Ring camera and shows Wharton, at one point, dragging her with a chokehold. After police cuffed the former officer, lapel video shows Rio Rancho officers cutting off Wharton’s Albuquerque Police uniform while he’s cuffed.
Officers even tried to get Wharton to tell his side of the story, but he didn’t have much to say after his charges were read to him.
Detective: I do want to give you the opportunity to talk to us and tell us your side of the story. Do you want to take that opportunity?
Wharton: Not after hearing that, no.
Wharton was taken to the Sandoval County Detention Center. Police video shows he still did not have anything to say, but he clearly looked distraught while waiting to be processed in the jail. Earlier this month, a judge decided to keep him locked up until trial.
At the moment, Wharton’s attorney is asking a judge to release him, citing coronavirus concerns. Prosecutors, however, argue his release would not ensure the safety of the community or the victim. A judge is set to hear that motion next month.
APD says Wharton had been with the department since November 2010. He was a senior officer with the department.