A Gainesville Police officer faces suspension and criminal charges for aggravated assault, stalking, false imprisonment and battery.
Officer Patrick Hopkins is accused of battering his girlfriend and stalking her after they broke up, according to sworn complaints submitted by Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. The first incident recorded in the court records took place in December 3, 2016.
Hopkins’ ex-girlfriend told ACSO the couple had an argument that night, which escalated later after Hopkins drank alcohol, according to the complaint. He had fallen asleep on the floor and, when his girlfriend woke him up, he began hitting his head against the wall, causing damage to the drywall. In fear for her safety, she went to her closet to pack an overnight bag and leave.
Hopkins came into the closet and argued with her, according to the affidavit. He pulled her cellphone away from her when she tried to call a friend to pick her up. He said he thought she was calling 911, ACSO said.
When she tried to walk past him, he pushed her to the floor and pointed his department-issued handgun at her, according to the complaint. She didn’t leave the home, and when Hopkins sobered up, he apologized.
During the next day, he texted her to apologize again and said he didn’t want the friend his girlfriend tried to call to come to their house, ACSO said.
“They woulda showed up,” he wrote, according to the affidavit. “This would have been public.”
According to the sworn complaint, Hopkins was threatening and emotional when his girlfriend tried to break up with him following the incident.
“Ruining your life and reputation just became my number one goal,” he wrote, according to the affidavit.
Hopkins was suspended with pay on Feb. 21, Officer Ben Tobias, GPD spokesperson said. GPD Internal Affairs will run a separate investigation from the criminal investigation conducted by ACSO, Tobias said.
Hopkins was hired in April of 2013 and is assigned to the K-9 Unit.
He was given a medal of heroism by Governor Rick Scott in January 2016 for saving a Gainesville woman from her burning home, according to Alligator archives.
Contact Meryl Kornfield at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @MerylKornfield