A former detective with the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he assaulted his estranged wife’s boyfriend at his home, threatened his roommate and dragged her outside the residence last year.
In October, 34-year-old Toby Benskin was arrested in Orange County and charged with burglary, assault with a firearm and false imprisonment.
Benskin, a 14-year LBPD employee, allegedly broke into the residence of his estranged wife's boyfriend on October 27, 2015, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. He allegedly assaulted and threatened to kill the man before threatening the man's roommate, who came to see what was happening. He then allegedly forcibly dragged his estranged wife from the residence.
LBPD officials found out about the incident the next day and launched an internal investigation. Benskin was terminated June 20 following the investigation.
“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,” stated Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna. “When an officer betrays the public trust we have worked so hard to cultivate, they must be held accountable.”
Benskin faces up to 25 years, eight months in state prison if convicted as charged, the district attorney’s office stated.
City News Service contributed to this report.