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The Police News
Galveston police officer suspended after 3 arrests in week in stalking, family violence cases
Galveston

By Rebecca Hennes
Houston Chronicle

A Galveston police officer has been “indefinitely suspended” after being arrested four times this year, including three times last week, on charges related to family violence and stalking accusations, police said Monday.

Justin Popovich, 38, was arrested on April 27 and 29 for allegedly violating bond conditions in a family violence case and on April 30 for stalking, police said in a news release.

The 17-year-department veteran was being held without bond Monday in the Galveston County Jail.

Popovich was placed on paid administrative leave last October after he was accused of possible criminal conduct, according to the release.

On Jan. 23, a grand jury indicted Popovich for continuous family violence, a third-degree felony, police said. Court documents show he was accused of causing bodily injury to a person he was dating by grabbing her by the neck and throwing or pushing her to the ground in separate incidents last year.

The officer was arrested Jan. 24 and placed on unpaid administrative leave; he was freed on $10,000 bond.

On April 27, Popovich was arrested again, for allegedly violating two bond conditions related to the domestic violence charge when he was found inside the house of the woman he was ordered to stay away from and in possession of two firearms, court records show. The two firearms were found in his truck parked across the street, according to court records. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor and he was released on bond that day, Galveston police Sgt. Xavier Hancock said.

On April 29, a felony arrest warrant was served on Popovich for alleged violations of court orders in a family violence case — this investigation was initiated prior to the April 27 arrest — and he was arrested again. His bond on the third-degree felony was set at $50,000 and he bonded out the same day.

On Thursday April 30, Popovich was arrested on a felony warrant and was charged with stalking in regard to the same person.

He was indefinitely suspended on Friday.

Popovich started work with the Galveston Police Department in 2003 and was most recently assigned to the Operations Bureau.