Feb. 19--Former Albuquerque Police Department narcotics Sgt. Patrick Ficke was at a bar with four APD supervisors on Feb. 10 before, according to a police report, he beat his wife in front of the couple's children while drunk at their Rio Rancho home.
Ficke has resigned and is facing criminal charges, and the Journal has learned that the four supervisors, including a commander, are now targets in an Internal Affairs investigation.
Police Chief Ray Schultz on Monday confirmed that Internal Affairs target letters were sent last week to: Cmdr. Joe Christman, who oversees APD's Northwest Area Command; Lt. Troy Luna, who is assigned to the department's Special Investigations Division; SWAT Sgt. Alexander Catsis; and Traffic Unit Sgt. Daniel Campbell.
None of the four returned emails seeking comment.
Schultz confirmed that he has discussed the supervisors' time at the bar with one of them, but he would not say which one.
The investigation, he said, will focus on which, if any, of the supervisors was on call and drinking during the time they were at the bar that Sunday.
The chief said he didn't know whether any of the supervisors had driven Ficke home from the Marble Brewing Company or whether any of them had been in city vehicles that day. That will be part of the investigation, he said.
"Based on the information I've heard and information I've gathered in non-official discussions with one of the parties involved, I felt it best to move forward with an official investigation," Schultz said.
After learning on Feb. 11 of Ficke's arrest on two counts of child abuse and one count of false imprisonment, all felonies, and one misdemeanor count of battery against a household member, the Journal requested comment from APD. A short time later, the department issued a media advisory stating that the 10-year APD veteran had resigned.
Of the four supervisors who received target letters, only Luna is assigned to the same APD division where Ficke worked before his resignation. It is unclear whether Luna was in Ficke's chain of command.
According to a Rio Rancho police report, Ficke's wife, who is an APD detective, called police from a store at Unser and Southern Boulevard to say she had argued with her husband and that he had struck her several times.
She told responding officers she had dropped off Sgt. Ficke at the Albuquerque brewery with some friends around 3 p.m. Sunday, the report states. He was "very intoxicated" when he arrived back at the couple's home around 8 p.m., she told officers.
The couple began to argue, according to the report, after Sgt. Ficke told his wife he had received a call-out and that he had to report for duty. She told him he couldn't go to work drunk.
Moreover, she told officers she didn't believe her husband's story about the callout because of "trust issues" she was having after learning a few months prior about Sgt. Ficke's long-term extramarital affair, the report states.
As the argument continued, Sgt. Ficke struck his wife several times in the nose with his phone while demanding she read text messages related to the call-out, according to the report. He also allegedly yanked his wife's hair, punched her in the temple and "squeezed her neck so hard that she felt pain going down her left shoulder."
Later, Sgt. Ficke went into the garage and got inside a vehicle, according to the report. He honked the horn several times and began clicking the safety on and off on his .45 caliber handgun.
Ficke's wife told him she wanted to take the couple's small children and go to her mother's house, but he refused to let her leave, according to the report. She put the children to bed and pretended to sleep herself. Sgt. Ficke then passed out, and she took the children and left.
Ficke turned himself in around noon the following day, according to the RRPD spokesman, and was released from the Sandoval County Detention Center after posting a $20,000 cash bond.
Sgt. Ficke could not be reached for comment Monday.
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