San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarimi faces new domestic violence claim

This image provided by the San Francisco Police Department Jan. 13, 2012 shows the booking mugshot of San Francisco's newly sworn-in sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Mirkarimi faces one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, related to a New Year's Eve incident with his wife, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said.
AP Photo/San Francisco Police Department
Ross Mirkarimi, mug shot
AP Photo/San Francisco Police Department

(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO - An ex-girlfriend of San Francisco's new sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, who will stand trial next month on misdemeanor domestic violence charges stemming from a New Year's Eve dispute with his wife, has told police Mirkarimi was also abusive toward her when they were dating.

Mirkarimi's ex-girlfriend, Christina Flores, told police Sunday that the recently elected sheriff shoved her against a wall and bruised her arm when the couple was dating several years ago, CBS San Francisco reports. Flores and Mirkarimi dated before the sheriff met his wife, Venezuelan former telenovela star Eliana Lopez, in 2008.

Flores, a former television talk show host, said she wanted authorities to know Mirkarimi's alleged abusive behavior was not an isolated occurrence.

Flores said she dated Mirkarimi in 2007 and 2008 and he went on verbal tirades several times, "throwing tantrums, yelling in your face."

But she said his anger turned physical only once. She said she didn't remember details about the argument that led to the alleged attack, but she recalled that her left arm was bruised.

"He never punched me, never hit me," Flores told the newspaper. "But he grabbed my arm and pushed me against the wall, yelling. This person is very much a pit bull and a bully."

Prosecutors say Mirkarimi, 50, bruised his wife's arm in the New Year's Eve confrontation.

A judge on Monday set a Feb. 24 trial date for Mirkarimi, who had requested a speedy trial. He said he wanted to reunite soon with his wife and 2-year-old son. He is prohibited from contacting wife or son until the case is resolved.

Lopez had the injury recorded on video by a neighbor who reported it to authorities, according to a police affidavit. But Lopez has publically defended her husband, saying the incident was taken out of context and that she has no complaint against him.

The sheriff has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.

A judge set a pretrial hearing for Feb. 16.

More on Crimesider
January 20, 2012 - San Fran Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi ordered to stay away from wife, kid in domestic violence case
January 19, 2012 - San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to be arraigned on domestic violence charges
January 16, 2012 - New San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarimi charged with battering his wife