California Democrat Joaquin Arambula Arrested for Child Cruelty

Joaquin Arambula (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

California State Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) was arrested Monday on charges of misdemeanor child cruelty, and Republicans are demanding that he resign.

The Associated Press reported:

The arrest came after officials at Dailey Elementary Charter School discovered an injury on a child who came into an office Monday afternoon, [Fresno police Chief Jerry] Dyer said. He did not describe the injury or Arambula’s relationship to the child. He was cited for willful cruelty to a child,

“Joaquin is a committed father who wants what is best for his children,” his spokeswoman Felicia Matlosz said in a Tuesday statement. “He is fully supportive of the process, which will show he is a loving and nurturing father.”

The child described how the injury occurred and said Arambula inflicted it, Dyer said. The police determined the injury happened Sunday evening. Arambula was cooperative and cordial, but he did not provide a statement to officers based on advice from his attorney, Dyer said.

Officers were “confident that a crime had occurred” and arrested Arambula on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, Dyer said. He was taken in a patrol car to police headquarter, finger-printed, photographed and then released because his crime is a misdemeanor. The injury did not rise to the level of a felony.

The Los Angeles Times noted that Arambula, a relative newcomer to the state legislature, had focused on health care issues, including a proposal to expand Medi-Cal to illegal aliens.

He had also introduced a bill, later signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, to expand mental health care for children who had experienced trauma.

Republican Party of Fresno County chairman Fred Vanderhoof has called for State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles) to demand Arambula’s resignation, according to the Fresno Bee.

Update: Arambula says he merely spanked one of his daughters, and she was angry and told her teacher. His wife defended him as a devoted father, according to the Fresno Bee, and he said the incident was a misunderstanding.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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