A former Long Beach police detective was arrested Monday for allegedly breaking into the home of his estranged wife’s boyfriend, threatened the boyfriend with a gun and then dragged the wife outside, according to authorities.
Toby Benskin, a 14-year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department, was taken into custody by Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies in the city of Orange after a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
The arrest comes after a year-long investigation into Benskin, 34, that began on Oct. 28, 2015 after police learned about a “domestic situation” that reportedly involved a police officer, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
One day earlier Benskin had broken into the boyfriend’s home in Long Beach, assaulted the man and threatened to kill him, prosecutors allege.
When the boyfriend’s roommate came in to see what was happening, Benskin threatened him too before dragging his wife out of the home, the District Attorney’s office alleged.
“Due to the seriousness and nature of the allegations, the officer was placed on administrative leave, and his duties as a police officer were discontinued,” police said in a statement. “A criminal investigation was also initiated by the Long Beach Police Department, which was conducted independently of the administrative investigation.”
Long Beach police presented their case to prosecutors in May and fired Benskin on June 30, according to the department.
“When we take our oath of office, we assume a tremendous responsibility which includes upholding the values and maintaining the integrity of our police department and profession,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said in a prepared statement. “When an officer betrays the public trust we have worked so hard to cultivate, they must be held accountable.”
Prosecutors have charged Benskin with nine felonies: three counts of assault with a firearm, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, making criminal threats, first-degree burglary with a person present and false imprisonment by violence.
If convicted Benskin faces up to 25 years, eight months in state prison.
He’s being held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Benskin was working in Long Beach police’s investigations bureau when he was fired, according to the department. A spokeswoman would not provide details on Benskin’s previous assignments.