JSO officer arrested on assault charges

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville police officer was arrested in Clay County on assault charges against his wife and father-in-law.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office charged Officer John Townsend after investigators said he, his wife and in-laws began arguing late Friday.

According to the police report, his wife told her parents that her husband becomes belligerent and verbally abusive when intoxicated.

The report says she also told her parents Townsend "had pulled his firearm and had pointed it at her and his own head in the past."

Townsend was released on bond Saturday.

In a statement, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Townsend is a 14-year veteran of the agency and was most currently working as a burglary detective.

He has been reassigned to an administrative position.

Deputies said this is an active criminal investigation.

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