my prospective new boss was arrested for domestic violence

A reader writes:

I have an interview tomorrow, and as part of my preparation, I researched both the organization (local government) and the hiring manager. On the first page of Yahoo search results under the hiring manager’s name, I found an arrest record from October 2012 for domestic battery.

After reading other results to determine that the arrested person was the correct Jane Doe, I dug deeper and found that county arrest records show that she was released the next day. Public records also show that 10 months later, she was granted a divorce from her husband.

I feel like this is relevant to the job, because I do not want to work for someone who has a violent temper. My current boss may be clueless, but at least he is not easily angered. How would be the best way to determine in the interview whether this was an unfortunate one-off incident, or whether her anger will be a regular presence in the workplace?

I don’t know that you can.

I mean, you can and should ask questions about her management style and how she handles it when there’s a problem, and you can and should ask similar questions about her of other people you’d be working with, as you might do when vetting any other job and any other manager.

But a single arrest for domestic violence, followed by a release the next day, followed by a divorce 10 months later … well, maybe she has a violent temper, but maybe she was trying to get away from a spouse who was the abusive one, or maybe it was a misunderstanding and that’s why you saw an arrest but not a conviction, or all kinds of other possibilities that we can’t know from here. (And I did think about whether I’d say the same thing if she were a man rather than a woman, and if it was a single arrest in an otherwise clean record, I would.)

The bigger question might be whether people’s behavior in their marriage is likely to show up in the workplace. Sometimes it does, but much of the time it doesn’t. Lots of people (sadly) scream at family members (or worse) but have never raised their voice at work. Lots of people (sadly) treat their family members terribly but have warm or at least cordial relationships at work. I just don’t know that you can extrapolate from one setting to the other.

Also, you’ve probably worked with many people who are engaging in really problematic behavior in their relationships or in other parts of their private lives, and you didn’t know about it because they conducted themselves appropriately at work.

I certainly don’t mean to dismiss domestic violence or to say that how people conduct themselves outside of work should be irrelevant to those who work closely with them … but there’s just too much unknown here.

Ultimately, I’d say that you should do your due diligence on how this prospective manager conducts herself in her professional life, as you should with any prospective new manager, and go from there.

{ 152 comments… read them below }

  1. Bowserkitty*

    I started a job finding out my then boss had two ongoing harassment lawsuits against them. I was so desperate for a proper job it didn’t matter at the time.

  2. Mike C.*

    I think it’s important to note that arrests are not convictions. People get arrested for good reasons, bad reasons, bullshit reasons, and administrative reasons all the time.

    1. A Dispatcher*

      Also, I think LW might be astounded by the number of DV arrests that are actually made and what exactly is the threshold for arrest. I deal with domestic calls all shift long, it’s really very common unfortunately. And an arrest, even for the charge of battery as LW stated, has quite the range of severity as well.

    2. Ad Astra*

      Sometimes there’s enough information available that you can evaluate the situation for yourself, but that’s unusual. If the only information OP has about the arrest is the date and the charge, it’s really impossible to know even what this prospective manager did, much less whether the arrest was warranted. It’s not unheard of for police to arrest both partners in a domestic dispute and then decide later not to press charges.

      1. sam*

        I was going to raise the same issue. In many places, in order to counteract the former prevailing view of police not taking domestic violence seriously, not arresting anyone, and then 10 minutes after they left one spouse ending up significantly more hurt (or dead) because they dared (or a neighbor dared) to call the police. Police often wouldn’t arrest anyone unless one of the parties was willing to make a complaint while their abuser was standing 3 feet away.

        So now, police are simply required to arrest everyone in many places and sort out the situation later.

    3. FormerPhotog*

      Also, in some states, when the police are called to a domestic dispute, both parties may be arrested. It isn’t a great solution, since it doesn’t distinguish between a minor assault and chronic abusive behavior, but happens, and is a primary cause of women being arrested for domestic violence.

      1. Turtle Candle*

        Yep. And another thing that happens sadly all too often is that when the cops arrive, the person who was abused is visibly upset/shouting/crying/whatever and looks ‘out of control’ and the person who was abusing them looks calm and collected (because they were in control of the situation while the abuse was happening). And the bias is to assume that the ‘out of control’ person must have been the one to initiate violence, because of the stereotype that someone abuses because they got angry or ‘snapped’ (as opposed to as part of a pattern of control), and thus they’re arrested.

        An arrest is very different than a conviction.

      2. Koko*

        Yes, this is what I came here to say. It’s very possible that this is what happened. The officer doesn’t recognize defensive wounds. I read that something like <10% of women arrested for DV are convicted once the facts are heard in court. Women make up 30-40% of DV arrests but men make up 95% of DV convictions. Evidence that a woman was arrested but not convicted for DV should be taken with a whole spoonful of salt.

        1. Green*

          Those numbers may also have something to do with a misconception or implicit bias that a woman “can’t commit domestic violence against a man”, so the salt should be spread all around. It’s a very difficult area to assess “objectively” because there are often destructive patterns present in the relationship, while they may differ in impact, fault and severity.

          1. Rat in the Sugar*


            Cases with female abusers are more easily dismissed or they just don’t get charged in the first place. It’s a complicated issue all around–a good reason for OP to reserve judgement until she gets some more information.

    4. TootsNYC*

      Especially in today’s world, arrests really don’t mean anything. They absolutely are not convictions.

      And it’s important to insist strenuously on this. Here’s why:

      I tell my teenage son: “If a cop stops you and arrests you, go quietly. Go along with it all. Arrests don’t matter. We can sort it all out when you get to the stationhouse. Be quiet, don’t talk, don’t say anything, but for God’s sake, don’t argue. He has a gun, a taser, and absolutely no consequences.
      “If he’s a good cop, you owe it to him to not make his job any harder than it needs to be. He’s got a tough job. He deserves your support and your cooperation.
      “If he’s a bad cop–and this could be on a spectrum from “untrained and too scared” to “flat-out mean”–he could really hurt you.
      “So either way, just go quietly a long. Emphasis on ‘quietly’–don’t SAY anything. But don’t argue. It’s OK, it doesn’t matter, it’s just an arrest.”

      And then along comes the OP, getting all upset because someone was arrested.

      That absolutely works against the very thing I am doing to try to be sure my kid comes out alive or unmarred by any contact with a police officer.

      1. INFJ*

        So we should just ignore arrests even when it could be an indicator of violent behavior? How about instead of assuming one thing or the other, we just say it’s best practice to recognize that one doesn’t always have all the facts?

        And as far as I can tell, OP isn’t getting “all upset.” OP even indicates that this could be a one off event that means nothing or it could be a pattern, which sounds like a reasonable assessment to me.

        1. TootsNYC*

          I don’t think arrests are any indication of anything, except that a police officer felt there was a need to slow things down and sort it out at the station house.

          And yes, the general public should ignore arrests. If you are in a position to have directly observed what happened shortly before the arrest was made, go to town drawing conclusions!

          But if you weren’t there, you need to suspend judgment. You need to look elsewhere.

          Is an arrest a reason to try TO look elsewhere? If you’re directly involved, yes. Otherwise, trust the system. It’s important to take the weight off the individual officers.

          1. Jaydee*

            I think arrests can be an indicator of *something* if there are multiple arrests or certain combinations of arrests. What that something is varies a lot, and it may not be a something that should reflect badly on the arrestee so much as indicate something about the police department in their town or a constellation of circumstances they found themself in.

            A prospective employer with a single arrest for domestic assault would, in my mind, raise at most a yellowish flag to be sure to do your due diligence for any things that might impact the work environment.

          1. The Optimizer*

            Case in point: I was arrested once. My brand new truck, purchased the night before and parked in front of my house, had been hit by a neighbor backing out of her driveway. The cops came, wrote her a ticket and one took me aside to tell me they regretted it but they were going to have to take me in for bench warrant on an unpaid ticket. I never argued with her from the beginning and respected her authority to do her job. My other neighbor gave me $50 cash so I could post bail quickly and the cop who took me in was kind enough to not only stick around so I didn’t even make it past the lobby but also drove me back home at the end of her shift.

          2. Not So NewReader*

            A friend’s family member dried some herbs from the garden. Placed the herbs in a baggie to deliever to another family member. The family member got pulled over while intransit for a traffic violation, and the officer saw the baggie.

            A classic story, but a true story. Back in those days employment apps said “Have you ever been arrested?” Yep. Arrested for possession of oregano.

        2. Observer*

          A SINGLE arrest? No, it’s not an indicator of anything, and the OP would be making a mistake to consider it to be so.

          The question is “will this be a pattern” and the answer is that there is no greater or lesser likelihood of explosive temper based on this single piece of information. Thus, the OP SHOULD ignore the arrest – because it is not useful to her AND not doing so creates negative societal consequences.

        3. MegEB*

          Well, yes. Because arrests are NOT convictions, and do not indicate guilt, and there are plenty of bullshit reasons a person can have an arrest and not a conviction on their record. And because people’s lives can be ruined because someone found an arrest record and assumed that arrest = guilt.

      2. INFJ*

        (For what it’s worth, I completely agree with the message you give your kid. There’s a reason why the cops in all those crime shows say, “Save it for the judge.” Trying to argue really won’t help.)

        1. Chinook*

          “There’s a reason why the cops in all those crime shows say, “Save it for the judge.” Trying to argue really won’t help.)”

          DH likes to point out that he is a cop, not a judge. All he can do is act on what he sees in the moment to ensure that everyone gets out of the situation safely (and that includes himself)..

      3. Ad Astra*

        Your advice to your son is still good, though. Arguing isn’t likely to help him avoid arrest once the officer has determined an arrest is appropriate. And keeping quiet will minimize the chance of something more newsworthy occurring during the arrest; it’s those articles online that really sink a reputation.

        1. TootsNYC*

          The other point I haven’t made to him yet is–it’s important to not talk, because when you talk, you can be misunderstood, and anything you say can be used against you. There’s a great YouTube video about not talking to the police until your lawyer gets there.

          And arguing is talking, and when arguing, you are more likely to end up creating trouble for yourself.

          1. Mike C.*

            Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. The only thing you should be saying is “I’m not answering any questions and I need to have a lawyer present”.

            1. Elizabeth West*

              Especially if you’re a minor. I’m stealing this conversation so if I have a kid, I can tell them that.

              A former coworker said once that she told her kids that if they got arrested and they did it, that she wasn’t going to bail them out. If they were innocent and she knew it, she would fight like hell to help them, but if they screwed up that badly, it was on them.

              1. OhNo*

                Interesting how many different takes on this parents have. The lecture I got from my parents was, “If you get arrested, you’re spending the night in jail. We’ll come and bail you out in the morning, and we’ll hire the best lawyers we can afford if they try to charge you, but if you do something stupid enough to get arrested for it, you deserve to spend one night in a cell.”

                Granted, I’m white, so the chances of me being arrested for just existing are significantly lower than other people.

              2. Dynamic Beige*

                A friend of mine said that when she and her sister got to a certain age, it was either 15 or 16 I can’t remember, her father sat her down and told her that he knew she was going to get into things that he wouldn’t approve of but there was nothing he could do to stop her. But, if she got arrested for whatever it was, she should wait until morning to call to get bailed out because if she did it in the middle of the night, no one was coming to get her until morning. I thought that was kind of harsh but she said that it stuck with her and there were a few times when she thought things might get “Call Pops in the morning from jail” bad so she stopped/left/dialled it back.

                1. ExceptionToTheRule*

                  My mother’s line was that she had money for a lot of things, but she didn’t have bail money.

            2. JessaB*

              Yes, if you’re an adult the ONLY thing you say is “I want a lawyer and I am asserting my right to remain silent.” If you’re a minor, you say that PLUS “I want my parent or guardian, I am under age.” Rinse, repeat, ad infinitum.

              Some courts have actually ruled stupidly that you actually have to SAY you’re asserting your right to remain silent. It’s dumb but it’s safer to make that all you say, “Lawyer, asserting my right to remain silent, Lawyer.”

              1. Katie the Fed*

                Same too with travel. If your kid is going road, make sure they know if there’s any trouble with law enforcement to say nothing but “I am an American and request you contact the U.S. embassy/consulate.” Amanda Knox would have had a much different experience had she done that

                1. AcademiaNut*

                  The other really important thing to tell a kid before they go abroad is that when they are out of their home country, they are subject to the laws and punishments of the country they are in, *not* their home country.

                  The powers (or interest) of their country’s embassy or equivalent if they break local laws can be quite limited, and laws and punishments in other countries can be very, very different than what they are used to.

              2. Ethel*

                In Occupy, they told us, sometimes giving your name and ID will help you. They might not arrest you or let you off with a warning b/c tehy feel like they’ve done some policin’. YMMV.

          2. Carpe Librarium*

            I believe this is the video TootsNYC is referring to. I’ll reply with the link, but in case it gets caught in the spam filter it is on YouTube under the title: ‘Don’t talk to Police’ (48 minutes)
            First half is a presentation by law school professor and former criminal defense attorney Prof. James Duane.
            Second half is a presentation by Officer George Bruch, Virginia Beach Police Department

    5. Mimmy*

      Good point. Job seekers who have been arrested but not convicted hope that prospective employers will give them the benefit of the doubt if they disclose it on their application or it comes up in a background check. While I can certainly understand the OP’s hesitation–I’d be a little wary too–you are right in that we should give this employer that same courtesy.

      Unless there are other red flags, the OP should still go on the interview. I would NOT specifically bring up the arrest record found, but ask the questions that Alison suggests about management style and problem-solving.

      1. TootsNYC*

        I thought most job applications ask about convictions–not arrests. I’d love a law that made it illegal to ask anybody about an arrest.

        An arrest is not a judgment. Not a legal judgment.
        An arrest ONLY means that the officer on the scene wanted to move things into a more measured investigation. He wanted to sort it out at the stationhouse.

        1. Mimmy*

          I thought most job applications ask about convictions–not arrests.

          Whoops – you’re right! It’s been awhile….

        2. fposte*

          There are such laws in some places. California, for instance. The specific terms of the restriction are variable–sometimes an employer can’t ask about it, but it doesn’t have the full “isn’t allowed to consider it” thing going on.

    6. LadyCop*

      Release the next day is essentially irrelevant. It in no way reflects guilt or innocence. DV arrests tend to be common because they are a proven way to deter the behavior for first time or infrequent offenders. It is a personal choice, but I wouldn’t read too much into it personally, as it’s human for people to do or say something stupid…even remotely violent once in their life. That being said, I wonder if anyone would react to this differently if said prospective boss was male…

    7. Ethel*

      It’s really, really common for the police to arrest the victim in a domestic situation rather than the perpetrator. The abuser has experience at mental abuse and manipulation, and to him, this isn’t a crisis. He’s already beat her up, he’s perfectly calm, he’s having a great day now. And after she calls the cops, or the neighbors do, he can continue to trigger her by spewing whatever bullshit he wants to keep her upset, scared, threatened. Or threaten her kids, pets, threaten to tell her friends or family or job about what “she’s doing to make him do this.” So the cops walk in and see a man who’s calm and a woman who’s hysterical. The abuser continues to instigate the situation, the cops tell her to “calm down or we’ll have to take you in.” It happens all. the. time. Especially to women of color.

  3. Kimmy*

    In some states, you can be arrested for domestic violence simply because another person says you did something – and it’s very typical for abusers to accuse their partner of whatever behavior it’s actually the abuser doing.
    The police arrest one or both parties and sort it out later. It’s a deterrent against frivolous claims, too.
    So just because someone has a domestic violence arrest (as opposed to a conviction) doesn’t tell you squat about what actually happened.

    1. A Dispatcher*

      “and it’s very typical for abusers to accuse their partner of whatever behavior it’s actually the abuser doing.”

      Such a good point – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people yelling in the background “Oh, you’re calling the cops on me!? I’ll just tell them you did xyz”, hear partners breaking things in the background threatening to tell the police the one calling did it, or a recent heartbreaker, one partner being heard in the background telling the child to lie to the police about what happened (they woke the kid from a sound sleep to feed them this information as well)…

        1. A Dispatcher*

          Absolutely – usually these types of cases don’t make it to trial though for various reasons. Though in a case like the call I described above I’m sure the defense attorney would try his or her hardest to keep it (or parts of it out) due to the strong bias it would create against his or her client.

          1. TootsNYC*

            That’s different from an arrest being used as evidence of someone’s behavior. At least with the 911 call, it *is* your words, not someone else’s (the police officer’s) conclusions and thought processes.

            1. LadyCop*

              Except it’s often extremely easy to tell when someone is flat out lying to you. I know that surprises a lot of people, but it doesn’t take Sherlock to know if someone fed kids a story…also, a good dispatcher will let responding officers know if something odd is going on.

    2. TootsNYC*

      “The police arrest one or both parties and sort it out later. ”

      Yep. And they need to be able to continue to do that. We *all* need to get less hysterical about a mere arrest. The arrest should be just a way to move everything into a calmer sphere, away from confrontation and into fact-finding and calm.

      So it’s important, important, important that people like the OP *stop* thinking arrests mean anything.

      1. TootsNYC*

        I feel like in some of the videos of arrests that went bad, I find myself feeling that the police officer in questions is using the arrest as if it were a punishment for arguing back. Instead of just writing a ticket, or walking away, or something.

        That’s a huge problem, I believe. Arrests are about moving to a different arena, and starting the fact-finding process. We need to stop making such a big deal out of the arrest, and let it be the “beginning” it is, instead of viewing it as the final word on the conflict between citizen and police officer.

        1. Anon for this one*

          I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at with you first paragraph. Police very much threaten the use of arrest to gain compliance with the subject(s). Arrests in DV cases aren’t really about fact finding processes, they’re about making sure one party doesn’t seriously kill or injure the other.

          Police can’t arrest people for no reason. If the subject is doing something where an arrest is a legally appropriate outcome, I don’t see why a cop should just “write a ticket” or walk away from an unruly subject.

          As far as “stop making a big deal about arrests” goes… Do you mean that as a society, or as someone threatened with the potential for getting locked up? Some jurisdictions, like DC, don’t do bail. In DC, you either get ROR or held over for arraignment, depending on the offense. DV is one of those offenses where you’re held over from the time of arrest until the next court session. Yes, that means if you get picked up on a Friday night for a DV charge, you sit in lockup until Monday morning. That’s a big enough deal in my book, IMHO.

          1. JessaB*

            Police can to arrest people for no reason. They do it all the time. They also often escallate non arrest incidents INTO arrest ones. Particularly against people of color, against persons with psychiatric disabilities, against trans persons, etc. There are steen million videos out there where police not only had no cause to go in wanting to arrest someone, but they actually caused injury or death to people acting in a legal manner.

            1. TootsNYC*


              Police officers aren’t *supposed* to arrest people for no reason. But they do, from time to time.

              Sure, I’ll grant you that the vast majority of police officers don’t do it without cause. (Of course, it’s still not a conviction.)

              But I was specifically speaking about the videos of wrongful arrests or over-the-top and inappropriate actions by police officers.

          2. Turtle Candle*

            There are plenty of “reasons” that aren’t really what they seem, though. Like I had a friend who was arrested for hanging out reading in a particular public area; the official reason was ‘loitering.’ I had done essentially the same thing (same behavior, same time, same place) for much longer and had never gotten so much as a how-d’you-do from the cops about it. Difference? I’m a white woman, he’s a Hispanic man. The ostensible reason was “loitering.” The actual reason was his race.

            I don’t think anyone’s saying that people should be totally keen on getting arrested. Obviously that sucks even in the best of circumstances, and it can suck even more in different places and depending on who you are. But it’s even worse if other people make a big deal out of the arrest after the fact, try to draw conclusions on whether you’re a good/trustworthy/etc. person, etc., and I think that’s what people mean–that it’s best of other people and society as a whole doesn’t take ‘s/he was arrested!’ as this big deal thing, indicative of a problem with someone’s moral character.

        2. Not So NewReader*

          As an aside: Technically speaking, even if the officer writes a ticket and walks away, that ticket is consider an arrest. If you receive a speeding ticket you have- technically speaking- been arrested.

          1. LadyCop*

            Yes and no. A ticket for a criminal offense is an arrest. A ticket for speeding is NOT an arrest. Traffic violations are not criminal acts.

      2. Bekx*

        It doesn’t help that there are websites and tabloids that post up everyone’s arrest records and mugshots in a “Gotcha!” type fashion. It’s pretty disgusting.

      3. kk*

        Toots – thanks for your comments today! You have definitely made me reconsider arrests and also gave me good advice should I ever, god forbid, be in a situation like that.

      4. Treena*

        Well, not necessarily. A lot of states that implemented those dual-arrest policies are reconsidering/changing the policy because if there are children involved, and both parents are arrested, they’re forced into emergency foster care. And that is proving to be even more traumatic for the victims and have them be wary of police/the system etc. Not to say police still can’t arrest both, if it’s warranted, but there were quite a few states that made it absolutely mandatory to arrest both parties, no matter what, and it was a disaster.

    3. sam*

      Also, police can simply be mistaken about a situation, and make unfortunate and/or biased assumptions. Years ago some friends of mine in a relationship ended up in a “situation”. They were walking from a train station loaded down with bags for the weekend. She tripped and fell, and because she was carrying stuff, couldn’t break her fall with her arms, so landed pretty badly on her face (she needed some pretty major stitches). He was trying to help her up and to call an ambulance.

      The police showed up, and immediately made some assumptions. The main one being that he had hit her in the face. Did I mention that he was of a different, less-white ethnicity than her? Yeah. In their zeal to “protect” her from her now agitated, upset boyfriend, he ended up getting arrested for not just assault, but resisting arrest, and attempted assault of an officer. She, of course, was left standing there, bleeding profusely from the face, trying to figure out how to get herself to the hospital (which she eventually did).

      By the next morning, it was all resolved, his case got dismissed, etc. etc. The fact that it turned out he was less “crazy latino” and more “ivy league law student” might have helped. Not that the latter can’t be abusive, but in our current era of better understanding how the police simply never give the benefit of the doubt to non-white people, I always think back to this incident.

      1. Dan*

        “In their zeal to “protect” her from her now agitated, upset boyfriend, he ended up getting arrested for not just assault, but resisting arrest, and attempted assault of an officer.”

        I’m guessing the BF actually did something to warrant being charged with resisting arrest and attempted assault?

        1. Hlyssande*

          He was upset that his girlfriend was injured. Being upset and trying to get the police to help his girlfriend could easily have been misconstrued as resisting arrest, and any gestures he may have made in the process could have been taken as attempted assault.

        2. sam*

          I wasn’t there, so I can’t speak to the particulars with certainty, but from my understanding, it started off with your basic “agitated while latino” crap, and most of the escalation was the fault of the police. But he did not react well to being physically restrained from trying to help GF.

          1. LadyCop*

            You sound extremely biased in this situation. As you said, you weren’t there. You might want to rethink some things.

            1. Anonymous*

              Absolutely. But being latina, I’ve been in that place where bring upset and angry has being interpreted in the same way as in Sam’s story. Your username says it all: you really should consider that the police should live to higher standards than us, given all the power you have. And truly look into yourself (as an organization ) to see that Sam’s story is way more possible the way it was told, than with police stopping to think and ask, and not escalating the situation.

            2. sam*

              If you mean, biased in favor of the people who I knew (and actually lived with) for years over cops who jumped to an entirely wrong conclusion and had to backtrack and drop all charges, then yes, you can say that I’m biased.

              As opposed to cops, who are paragons of unbiased behavior. Not going to get into it here, but I can also regale you with a litany of stories from my non-white U. Penn law school classmates about being stopped and/or arrested by the police. Strangely, in the exact same places, doing pretty much the exact same things, my blonde-haired, blue-eyed self has never been troubled by anyone in a uniform.

              Then again, maybe I’m also just imagining the various consent decrees and settlements that the Philadelphia police department has been required to operate under for the past 30+ years because of their egregiously terrible behavior.

    4. Stranger than fiction*

      Exactly. My divorce was ugly and messy and there were plenty of fights where he punched holes in the walls and I threw things across the room at him, but we never hurt each other, at least physically. But the point is either one of us could have called the cops on the other one but somehow even in our rage we were reasonable enough to understand how much worse that would make things because we didn’t want our kid to have to ever visit one of her parents in jail.

  4. Helka*

    It’s good to keep in mind that an arrest and a more-or-less immediate release specifically for domestic violence is not always indicative. From what I understand, there are some jurisdictions where police are basically required to arrest everyone (or every adult) involved in a domestic disturbance, and it’s also not uncommon for people to be arrested or even prosecuted for defending themselves from abuse.

    Definitely ask a lot of questions about how she handles frustrations in the workplace, and if you can, ask someone who isn’t her but works with her about that. But don’t assume that she is definitely a) an abuser and b) going to bring that behavior to the office based on such scanty info.

    (That said, I don’t blame you for being nervous. Very little will put me off of someone faster than finding out they have a bad temper.)

    1. PEBCAK*

      Agreed. There is a tendency to err on the side of arresting everyone and then dropping chargers. Whether or not this is a good policy can be debated elsewhere, but the arrest itself doesn’t mean much.

    2. The Optimizer*

      I once lived as roommates with a couple. They were not at all violent, but boy did they ever have some screaming matches! One particularly loud night, a neighbor called the police because the female half of the couple was screaming, crying and drunkenly carrying on. There was absolutely no physical contact but the cops told them they were required to arrest someone for any reported domestic situation and the couple could choose who that would be. Since having that kind of arrest would’ve led to more complications for him than it would’ve for her, she chose to go to jail that night. She was released the next day and no charges were ever filed.

      1. Ad Astra*

        That sounds like a policy that needs revision. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to ask one of them to go stay with a friend or some other place? I don’t blame the neighbor for being concerned, but if neither person is accusing the other of abuse and nobody else saw any abuse, why insist on dragging someone off to jail?

        1. TootsNYC*

          Well, it’s a policy put in place to try to keep individual officers from having to make a judgment about true danger, and to prevent situations in which a police officer minimizes the danger and downplays real abuse.

          It’s an attempt to work around the cultural bias.

          And it *should* be OK because the arrest is not supposed to matter. It’s not supposed to carry a lot of weight.

          1. Ad Astra*

            I can see the thinking behind that, since lots of victims say they’re fine when they’re not. But even if I wasn’t worried about the social or career issues associated with an arrest, I’d be freaking terrified of spending even one night in jail. There is a certain amount of trauma that comes with being arrested; I wouldn’t appreciate being put through that if I wasn’t suspected of a real crime.

          2. JessaB*

            It’s also designed from keeping the one who was actually abused from being conned/gaslighted/convinced by violence or threats to downplay the thing and deny anything happened when the cops DO show up. IE if you tell them I hit you I will take the children and run, hurt the dog, kill you when I get out…etc.

        2. The Optimizer*

          I think they did but his family was several states away and hers was a few hundred miles, they were both drunk and it was the middle of the night. I think the idea behind the policy is to just separate them until cooler heads prevail by whatever means necessary.

  5. AMT*

    My first thought was also that she may have been a victim of domestic violence. I’m aware that women do abuse men (and other women), but it’s also very common for male abusers to use the police as a tool of control against their victims. It would suck to have that on your record through no fault of your own.

  6. madge*

    Alison’s advice is spot-on. A person could snap once, it could’ve been self-defense, or she could be a jerk who is a dream in the workplace. Pay attention to the clues during the interview.

    Also, please consider the possibility that the spouse who filed the charges lied. My sister-in-law has a violent temper and a history of spreading malicious lies about people. After an argument with her now-ex-husband, she called the police stating that he hit her. He now has an arrest on his record and frankly, everyone except her parents believes she’s lying.

    1. some1*

      The spouse might not have “filed charges” at all. Police arrest abusers and prosecutors file the charges over objections of the victim all the time.

      1. michelenyc*

        +1 My friend had this experience with her ex-fiance. She told the prosecutor that she would not testify against him but they still filed charges and went ahead with the case without her. It was in California and that is the law.

        1. some1*

          I was a receptionist at the prosecutor’s office years ago. At least once a day I got a call from a victim who assumed her telling the prosecution team, “It didn’t happen/I’m not testifying” was enough to stop the process. They usually weren’t happy too happy to find it out.

          1. MK*

            Very true. People don’t understand that the penal law isn’t there just to avenge and protect the victims, but to safeguard society as a whole from people who are likely to commit crimes. And that once something is brought to the attention of the authorities, the process cannot be stopped just because the victim wants it to.

      2. madge*

        This is also an excellent point.

        OP, there are so many different things that could be at play here. Don’t let the arrest alone prejudice you before you meet her.

      3. Mimmy*

        Huh. I thought it was up to the victim of any crime to “press charges”. I guess I watch too much “Cops”, lol.

        1. doreen*

          It frequently happens that the case isn’t prosecuted because a victim refuses to testify , and in the case of crimes other than domestic violence there may not even be an arrest if the victim is uncooperative. But that’s not quite the same as the victim deciding whether to “press charges” – if someone assaults me and a police officer sees it or if it is captured on video , my testimony is not necessary.

          1. Treena*

            Sort of–they never need your permission as the victim to press charges, but if someone random, say, punched you at a bar, they would ask you about whether or not you wanted to press charges. But because dv is a little trickier than that. Most policies now, the police press the charges if they see evidence of a crime, and don’t allow the victim to make a decision about that. It’s mainly to make sure nothing slips through the (previously cavernous) cracks and also gives the victim a bit of protection because they weren’t the ones who made the decision.

  7. sunny-dee*

    I’ve also seen the reverse — people who are awful at work but warm and kind in their personal lives. It really depends on the person how much spillover there is.

    1. jmkenrick*

      I’ve seen that as well – and if the google search had uncovered lots of photos of the potential boss smiling with a happy family and volunteering at carnivals….that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to be a good boss.

      We have a tendency to extrapolate people’s entire personalities from the (often) limited information we have about them, but most of us have behavior that’s really situation based. (ie: being more childish/sensitive with our families than with strangers, or being more extroverted at work than we are at a social event).

    2. Stranger than fiction*

      Yes, I’m so glad you and Alison mention this. People can be all sorts of bad things outside of work, I could tell stories all day long.

  8. CrazyCatLady*

    I just met someone the other day who was telling me in some states, in a domestic violence call, someone has to be arrested. And she also said that it’s not always the main perpetrator; if the police come in at an inopportune time where the victim is fighting back, the victim him/herself may be arrested.

    Also, I don’t know if this is true across the board, but from what I understand, domestic abusers are often quite nice and respected within the community and the workplace and like Alison said, this may not be relevant at all to working with the person.

    1. CrazyCatLady*

      Although, to play devil’s advocate, if an employer were to find this information about an employee, I wonder if it would be a different story. Like someone above said, we often extrapolate people’s whole character based on limited information we have.

      1. Ad Astra*

        I would hope that employers wouldn’t hold an arrest without a conviction against a prospective employee, but I’m sure some of them do. It’s why I always hated writing “crime” stories about college students who did dumb, embarrassing things and got arrested. That stuff comes up in a Google search, and there’s never any follow-up to say the charges were dropped. It was really, really hard to argue that there was even a shred of public safety value to these stories, but boy did they get the web traffic going.

        1. CrazyCatLady*

          I would hope so, too! But again, with limited data and loads of qualified candidates, I could see why they wouldn’t be willing to take the risk.

          1. Observer*

            This bugs me, because the truth is, there is no real risk.

            Others have mentioned some scenarios of arrests that are no reflection on the person. Here’s another type. Something happens, and the police are under pressure to make an arrest. So they make an arrest without doing their due diligence. This happens more often than people realize. In fact as I’m writing this I can think of three cases where I know for a fact that this was the main reason for the arrest – and in two of the cases, in fact, the case was dropped. (In the third case, it went to trial where the case blew up when the lead – and only – witness turned out to be lying.)

            1. CrazyCatLady*

              I respectfully disagree that there is no real risk. While certainly no conviction may mean the person is actually not guilty of the offense, it also may mean that the person was lucky or had a good lawyer. It doesn’t definitely mean the offense didn’t happen. That’s why I said that the employer may want to take the risk if there are other well-qualified candidates without any legal history, whether legitimate or not.

              1. Observer*

                A single arrest with no conviction and no other context (other than a divorce 10 months later) means that we know absolutely NOTHING. No conviction with no arrest could also mean that the person was “lucky” or managed to sweet talk someone important.

                That is the bottom line here – an arrest means absolutely zero. We don’t know what happened. It could be there was no violence at all. It could be that both of them were violent. It could be that the person was the victim. And it could be that the person was the aggressor. And we have NO idea which it is. The ONLY thing we know is that someone called the police. That’s really a very slender basis for claiming that there is any real reason to think there is a risk.

                1. JessaB*

                  Especially in a job situation. The personal dynamics are totally different. A single incident with no conviction or anything, just doesn’t rise to any kind of real extrapolate-ability at all. And let’s say it’s true, they were the aggressor, they had NO cause to be aggressive and were arrested but not taken to trial/not convicted whatever. That’s still not something you can judge their job performance on. Particularly if it’s a single incident and they’re old enough to have had more such incidents if that’s their personality.

          2. fposte*

            Though, as noted upthread, in some jurisdictions they’re not allowed to inquire about arrests, or even hold arrests without convictions against an employee.

  9. LBK*

    I’m a big proponent of not extrapolating behavior outside of work to behavior at work and I think that still applies in this situation. An abusive relationship (if in fact there was one, because as Alison and others point out an arrest with no conviction makes it questionable) is the result of a specific confluence of factors. In other words, a person who’s abusive to a partner often targets them for more specific reasons than just generally being a violent person to everyone they encounter – and in fact this is what makes people so skeptical when their friends ask them for help, because often abusers are great at hiding that side of themselves around others.

    Now, I think the question that would be more relevant than “Is this person going to get violent with me at work?” is “Do I want to work for someone who would do something awful like abuse their partner?” and, well, that’s a tougher question. In this case because there was one incident and no conviction I think you have to err on the side of “innocent until proven guilty,” otherwise this is how people’s lives get ruined by false accusations.

  10. eplawyer*

    I work with domestic violence victims all the time. Unless there is a conviction, there can be so many reasons for the arrest. As some have noted, she could be the victim. Lots of abusers like to claim being the victim of the abuse as another way to control the victim.

    You have a couple of pieces of information but not the whole story. You cannot assume then that the new boss has a violent temper that would make working with her impossible.

    Treat it like any other job interview, talk about the JOB and the OFFICE, not her personal life.

  11. BethRA*

    I’m on board generally with the idea that arrest does not equal conviction, and that not extrapolating behavior outside the office to what people will do inside one.

    That said, if I found out a potential boss/coworker had been arrested for a violent offense, I’d probably go a little further than normal to find out what they’re like to work with. I don’t know if OP has access to other people in the department, but if she does, I’d really probe and pay attention to how questions were answered.

  12. Lindsay*

    A lot of jurisdictions will arrest both parties in physical domestic disputes and let the judge sort it out. This information tells you nothing.

  13. the gold digger*

    Lots of people (sadly) scream at family members (or worse) but have never raised their voice at work. Lots of people (sadly) treat their family members terribly but have warm or at least cordial relationships at work.

    At my husband’s mother’s funeral, I was listening to her friends speak about her and wondering, “Who are they talking about?”

    1. Kat A.*


      My stepsister was an icicle to the rest of us. She was always so cold and never had a kind word to say. Then one day I was at a party and heard her talking to some friends in the next room. She was so warm to them. And when she laughed at something they said, it shocked me because I had never heard her laugh before.

      For the record, we were always very kind to her and we would do things like acknowledge every birthday she had with cards and gifts, whereas she never acknowledged ours — not in 20 years. Stuff like that.

      1. the gold digger*

        Yes! And you wonder, “Why am I not considered worthy of being treated nicely?”

        And then you wonder, “Is it something I am doing wrong? Am I the bad person in this? What could I be doing/have done differently? Maybe I am the bitch!”

        And then you look across the room at your sister in law, who is the loveliest person in the world and who has been so helpful in organizing the funeral and in everything else with the in-laws, despite their constant criticism of her, make eye contact, and see her smiling ruefully. And you know she is thinking the same thing.

    2. F.*

      My father is a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality. Very calm and civilized to the outside world and an entirely different person within the confines our the house. I will not be attending his funeral.

      1. KH*

        Yup. My father was the same. After my mother died and he remarried and became step-grandpa to his wife’s grandchildren. When he died, everyone raved about how wonderful he was with the kids – so patient and kind and calm and never ever lost his temper with them. And all I could do was sit there and think “We’re not talking about the same person I grew up with.”

      2. Helka*

        Oh my god, mine too. He switches on this public persona that is super charming and congenial and interesting, but then I’ve witnessed him kicking his dog in the belly, he’s pinned me against the wall and screamed at me, thrown things, and literally growls at his wife (like an animal growling, not speaking in a growling tone) if she does something he doesn’t like.

        I’ve stopped speaking to him and changed my name away from his. What a relief!

    3. Stranger than fiction*

      Yes! My own mother was so congenial and popular at our church growing up, everyone loved her, but at home she was (is still but to my incapacitated father now) always screaming and slapping us for every little thing. Horrible person all around.

  14. Adonday Veeah*

    Please do not make judgments. A friend of mine was being beaten by her husband. When the police arrived (called by the neighbors) they asked each of them what happened. She did not want to send her husband to jail, so she lied and said he didn’t hit her. He, on the other hand, lied and said she had hit him. The police felt that someone had to go to jail, so they took her off and booked her. She spent a number of days in jail.

    I beg you not to judge this person based on what you read online. It might not be true.

    And, what Alison said about domestic issues not manifesting at work.

  15. michelenyc*

    My sister was in this situation with her now ex-husband. There were never any charges filed and she was not convicted of any crime. Her ex instigated a fight, he became physical with her, and she was defending herself. Because he had a scratch on his arm and she had no marks when they police arrived, she was the one arrested. There were never any charges filed and everything was dropped within a week. The truth regarding the situation came out rather quickly and the DA was like no way. Depending on the state it is my understanding when the police are called to a domestic violence situation they make one person leave the home it doesn’t matter who started it but one person has to leave!

  16. Dan*

    Dynamics at home are a lot different than the dynamics in the work place. In the workplace, we all have an incentive to get along — play nice or be fired. And if you do something that rise to the “for cause” level, you can be out on your ass that day with no unemployment and no severance.

    At home, the consequences are not immediate, and frankly, not as severe. Even if you’re in the wrong, lots of times you can still get a payout, spousal support, part of the assets, who knows.

    I’d wager that many DV incidents are the culmination of a series of events that would never have gotten that far in the workplace — people would have either quit or gotten fired by the time it got that far.

  17. Brett*

    Wanted to approach this from a different direction.

    This is a local government position. The fact that the hiring manager still has her job makes this arrest a lot less disconcerting. For many local governments, a conviction for domestic violence is grounds for termination and generally will result in termination. In many cases, terminated is required by legislation or regulation. For patronage positions (e.g. department heads in most local governments), there is rarely any legislative or regulatory requirement to terminate, but in practice a domestic violence arrest is highly likely to result in termination.

    For local government public safety workers in particular, many states require the worker to be immediately and indefinitely suspended without pay just if they are charged (not convicted) with domestic violence or served with a domestic violence restraining order. (This stems from an interaction of state law with federal laws on firearms and domestic violence.) Even if acquitted, they must remain on unpaid suspension until they undergo a background check and psychological evaluation. That means even an arrest is so career damaging that the person is unlikely to promote into or stay in a hiring role, and it means something if that person is allowed to keep their position in those circumstances.

    1. TootsNYC*

      That’s a good point.

      And even if not a local-government situation, it was also 2012. That’s three years ago; they’d have had time to manage her out.

  18. SCR*

    I am a DV survivor, about 5.5 years have passed since I’ve dealt with it. My ex had a very lucrative job and supported me. This leads to all kinds of manipulation and awfulness. I never had him arrested though. Police were called at various points and I let it drop.

    I’m of 2 minds here. There could be an intense issue in which she was self defending and was arrested but she could have been the perpetrator. You need to decide what is your dealbreaker. As a survivor, my level is way different. I find it hard to even consider such prospects but I respect the people involved.

    Proceed with caution. Allow yourself to be cynical. Not everyone is awesome. Good luck.

    1. JB (not in Houston)*

      “Proceed with caution. Allow yourself to be cynical. Not everyone is awesome.”

      These are true words. But they are true of every job candidate and potential employer, not just those who have been arrested. This arrest tells us nothing except, as someone above pointed out, somebody (and we don’t know who) called the cops.

  19. hbc*

    Anecdote 1: My husband used to hear all about how awesome a teacher his mom was, from her colleagues and her students/his friends. No one would have guessed that she would use a spoon to hit him because “my hand doesn’t hurt enough.”

    Anecdote 2: When my husband got old enough to stop her, she threatened to call the police on him for grabbing her wrist. Which was raised to hit him. She honestly believed that she was the one being violated, and I bet the cops would have sided with the crying school-marm-type over the sullen teen.

    Anecdote 3: I worked for a neighbor one summer. I thought the guy was a teddy bear. I was horrified when I heard him yelling at his other employees, but several people told me that this was an improvement–he was much worse when I wasn’t around.

    I’ve certainly known people who were jerks or sweethearts across the board, but it’s not at all a given. Take it as a reason to watch people’s reactions more carefully when asking about her, but don’t treat it as a go/no-go signal.

  20. Jill of All Trades*

    I had a coworker who was warm, personable, and patient at work, and would have a hair trigger with her parents and kids, totally screaming at them for anything that pissed her off regardless of any role (or lack there of) that her chosen target had in what bothered her. She also didn’t care who else was present for the screaming since in her mind she had every right to behave like that. I had to stop being friends with her because I couldn’t be around it anymore. But at work she was amazing and a good manager.

    Also, I’ve had terrible managers who were wonderful people out of the office. Not everyone (possibly most people) do not really change their interaction style from one environment to another, but some do and you probably can’t know until you’re around them for a while. However, if they display red flags like we so often see here, believe them.

  21. Artemesia*

    One of the downsides of the internet is that even a bogus arrest record can pop up forever. I know someone who got arrested for burglary in a prank situation and it was dismissed immediately — but it still comes up if you google him. It wasn’t the smartest thing he ever did, but it did not lead to a conviction for a crime.

  22. Beancounter in Texas*

    At my former DreamJob, my Boss was fantastic. He wasn’t the best boss to ever walk the earth, but he is the best boss I’ve ever had. Never yelled, gave me a ton of autonomy, and wanted to genuinely resolve problems, not just get his way. He was the American Dream Success Story – high school dropout who smoked too much weed, cleans up act, buys a company and becomes a millionaire. Then he sold the company and retired to Florida, at the ripe old age of 33.

    His rap sheet before cleaning up his act is interesting. I might not have worked for him had I known of his record beforehand, but by the time I met him, there were years between the last incident and the day I met him.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Good point. I know a few people with several arrests/conviction on their rap sheets, that I consider friends. You have to go person by person and situation by situation. Unfortunately, OP does not have access to the specifics to know anything about this boss.

      I think this story goes one of two ways. Possibility one, is this boss is innocent and the company is a group of thinking people who figured it out and have no issues with this person’ continued employment.
      Possibility two is the boss is as guilty as heck and the company does not care one iota about who they have on their payroll.

      I am leaning toward the former, if I were trying to make the guess myself. I would continue following up with the company. If they gave me an offer, I would then consider how I still felt about the matter given all the new information I had learned from interviewing. If I still felt uncomfortable, then I would have to turn down the job. I hope I would try to think about how I would want to be treated if the sitaution were reversed. Interestingly, it could be that you decide against the job for reasons that have absolutly nothing to do with this boss.

  23. Merry and Bright*

    A few years ago I googled the hiring manager before an interview. I discovered he had served 4 years in jail for fraud and deception. This was in the same industry as the job I had just left and was a 2 degree connection to ToxicBoss. (Not by LinkedIn but through workplace knowledge). This was a big scandal at the time and had made national news.

    I didn’t need telling what to do. I cancelled the interview. Having just left one fire, I had no intention of jumping back.

    1. TootsNYC*

      I think there’s a really big difference between a conviction and an arrest.

      Of course, then there’s the whole, “how will someone become a positive member of society if they never get a chance? Don’t we believe that they can change, learn from their mistakes, etc.?”

      But of course, each individual is allowed to decide for ourselves what chances we want to take. I believe firmly that we’re not required to sacrifice our actual here-and-now lives for a social construct.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Giving a chance. Not everyone is able to give that chance, nor should they feel totally obliged to give that chance. People who force themselves to fake it might end up doing more harm than good, or might end up hurting themselves in the process. In a similar idea, some people are not in a position to even consider giving a chance.

        I’d be the first one to say give folks a chance to turn their lives around. Yet, I also believe that not every single one of us can be that person. This is a personal decision that only you can make, OP. You know the details of your setting and you know what you can and cannot do right now.

        1. Observer*

          Giving a chance is not what’s up for discussion here, though. The reality is that the information that the OP has is just too little to be actionable. It’s not a matter of giving a former domestic abuser a second chance, it’s matter of whether the person even ever engaged in domestic abuse.

    2. Observer*

      @TootsNYC got it right. You were dealing with a conviction, and enough other information to draw reasonable conclusions. So, yes, there I think you probably made the right call. But, an arrest with nothing else is about as much use as someone telling you over drinks “I heard that Johny is thief.”

  24. Anon for this*

    I have a couple of coworkers. They work for the same relatively small group, but under different bosses. They had been an on again off again couple forever. Then one day, they didn’t come to work for a week or so, and when she did it was obvious that she’d been beaten to the point of requiring hospitalization. He was on the arrest records earlier that week.
    He seemed to be a nice guy and she was a tough lady, so no one ever thought that would have happened. Apparently he’d been slapping her around the entire time they were together, and there was no indication of it in their professional lives. He never showed violence or even a temper at the office. She never showed any signs of abuse publicly, or even to her friends. She chose not to press charges, so his record only shows an arrest.
    All this to say, that I agree with Allison. People’s public personas and their home personas are two very different things…..

    People’s personal lives and their work lives are very different.

  25. irritable vowel*

    I would say the only way in which the arrest might be relevant to your potential employment is that the woman may feel like she doesn’t have a lot of options for seeking new employment herself because of the arrest record. (As others have said, arrest is not the same as conviction, but if you found that information so easily, so would potential employers, who could very well decide to pass on her in favor of candidates with no such public records.) So, you might be getting yourself into a situation where you’d be working for someone who wasn’t sticking around for the right reasons. But that’s a big might, and I hope you’d get a sense of her commitment to the organization from the interview.

  26. Anonymous*

    I was arrested for DV eleven years ago. The police officers were misinformed and the charges were finally dropped after overwhelming evidence that it was self defense. I’m not a violent or aggressive person but if you search my name on the internet, you’re bound to find that lovely mugshot photo and charges listed. Luckily, the few times I’ve had to explain my arrest in a professional setting I was not judged unfairly. Not to mention people fix themselves, they get help, they recover and improve.

  27. Former Retail Manager*

    Alison’s advice is spot on and I’m sorry OP, but I think your reaction is ridiculous. Even if this woman was the aggressor in the situation with her spouse, it’s absolutely her business. The mere fact that it’s public record doesn’t make it your business. If she works for local government, you can rest assured that she was likely required to disclose the arrest and surrounding circumstances, regardless of her position, and they saw fit to continue to employ her. Furthermore, the situation occurred 3 years ago, not last month. As so many others have said, one’s actions with their family/spouse are not necessarily indicative of their personality or actions at work. Bottom line, if the shoe were on the other foot, I’m sure you’d want the benefit of the doubt, so you should give that to her as well.

    1. voyager1*

      I think the LW is drawing way too many conclusions based off an Internet search.

      There is a good chance the LW works with an abuser or whatnot. How many times in the news do we hear “I never would have thought John/Jane would do….”

      1. anonintheuk*

        People are complex.
        I have a female ex-colleague who was arrested for, I think, grievious bodily harm, but never charged.
        Her ex had been cheating, and she found this out when she discovered he had given her an STD. She backhanded him across the face and broke his nose, and the emergency department had to notify the police.

        To do the ex justice, he refused to press charges, and explained to the police how this situation had arisen.

  28. Alis*

    As someone who formerly worked in policing, I would give no weight to this. It isn’t unusual for people to be arrested for DV, especially in a divorce conflict. It is VERY common to be arrested and released without charges. I have even heard people say “I called, you should be arresting him/her! I called!”, even though they were the aggressor. It’s just a very nasty, messy thing, and needs to be taken with a grain of salt (convictions are a different story, vulnerable positions, etc). Just… use caution, I’m saying. It can happen to anyone.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Sometimes people make a DV call just to get their spouse to agree to a divorce. “You don’t think I am serious? Here, let me show you how serious I am….”

  29. Greg*

    FYI there was an article a couple years back (I think in the NYT Magazine) about scammers who post mugshots and arrest records on a website, optimize it so that it gets top search results, and then extort the arrestees to have it taken down. The worst part is that, even if the people pay them off, there’s no guarantee it will disappear, because another company (or the same company under a different name) could do the same thing. Really depressing, especially because, as other commenters have pointed out, an arrest is in no way comparable to a conviction.

    What I would say to the OP is, while you can’t un-know what you’ve learned, take it as one data point, and don’t give it any added weight unless you can corroborate it elsewhere.

  30. MsChanandlerBong*

    Alison makes a great point about “work behavior” vs. “family behavior.” My dad has had some problems in the past few years. He’s certainly not violent, but after going into cardiac arrest for several minutes and being resuscitated, he’s never been quite the same. He is extremely negative, complains constantly, and is paranoid about talking in public places (even if you are talking about something as innocuous as the weather report). My poor mother is at the end of her rope…yet his coworkers think he’s great. Every time she sees one of them, they say, “Oh, we love Chandler’s Dad. He’s so funny!”

  31. Cari*

    My perp was nice as pie to me in work before our relationship, and even when he was abusing me he was still nice to his friends. But he was an abusive shit to people he didn’t like, or just wasn’t close to, in work, and he’d even told me at times that his friends had shared concerns about his aggressive behaviour.

    OP, I don’t know how you could find out whether you prospective boss actually was the abuser, but I wouldn’t count on reports from close friends and colleagues to be accurate. They may already be explaining away obvious red flag behaviour.

  32. Anony for this*

    Being arrested for domestic battery is a mandatory 12 hour hold. I was arrested for the same charge because I threw a newspaper. I wasn’t aiming it at anyone, it was just out of frustration. Since the police were called to the house because of the argument, they *had* to arrest someone. Since I admitted to throwing the newspaper (foolish, I know.) I was the one taken in. I was released 12 hours later and when my court date happened, all charges were dropped.

    You never know why someone has been arrested, doesn’t mean that they are a bad person. In my city, if the police are called out to a house where there is an argument, they can arrest someone for yelling too loudly.

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