Uvalde school police officer charged with domestic assault | #schoolsaftey

A Uvalde school police officer has been suspended from her duties after being arrested and charged with assaulting her ex-boyfriend, the Uvalde Leader-News reported.

Xanthe Lara, 28, of Uvalde, was arrested Oct. 11 on a charge of assault causing bodily injury/family violence.

She has been placed on administrative leave while the district conducts an internal investigation.

RELATED: Uvalde to break ground on new campus to replace Robb Elementary

Lara was hired this year and assigned to the Uvalde Dual Language Academy. The district will rotate other officers to the campus during her absence, Anne Marie Espinoza, the school district’s executive director of communications and marketing, told the Leader-News.

District officials overhauled their police force after the May 24, 2022, massacre at Robb Elementary School. A teenager armed with a semi-automatic rifle entered the school that morning and killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers.

School district police were among hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement officers who responded to the scene and waited more than hour while the gunman was holed up with his victims in a classroom. Members of a Border Patrol tactical unit finally ended the siege, storming the classroom and killing the shooter.

Afterward, the district suspended operations of its police force, fired the chief, Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, and started over. Arredondo was widely blamed for the decision not to confront the gunman immediately but rather to treat the shooting as a “barricaded man” situation in which time was not of the essence.

His successor, Miguel Hernandez, lasted barely two months before he, too, was replaced by the current chief, Josh Gutierrez.

In a video message to parents last Tuesday, a day before Lara’s arrest, Uvalde’s interim superintendent, Gary Patterson, said the school district had just hired three more police officers, bringing the total to 10 and completing the “rebuilding” of the force.

“Our community, parents, should feel very good about that,” he said. “We’ll have an officer assigned to each campus.”

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