San Mateo County prosecutors say there is insufficient evidence to try a Hillsborough police officer with domestic violence and trespassing for allegedly entering his ex-girlfriend’s home and pushing her into a stove.
On Wednesday, the District Attorney’s Office asked a judge to dismiss the misdemeanor case against Martin Brian Fritzsching. Fritzsching also escaped a charge of child endangerment for allegedly letting the victim’s three children near his firearms while the couple was dating.
The dismissal decision was made after several meetings with the alleged victim — who wasn’t set on testifying — and looking at the evidence, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
"We determined it did not meet the standard,” Wagstaffe said.
Fritzsching previously pleaded not guilty to both charges and was set for trial Sept. 12. Because the charges are misdemeanors, prosecutors did not have to test the strength of their case at a preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors say Fritzsching, of San Jose, and the San Mateo woman dated for approximately 10 months before they broke up and she began dating another man. On April 13, he allegedly sent her several text messages before going to her home and, without knocking, entered the residence where she was watching the San Francisco Giants baseball game with her new boyfriend.
Fritzsching was accused of grabbing a beer from the refrigerator and, during an argument with the woman, pushing her into the stove. The new boyfriend threatened to throw him out and both men left separately. A short while later, the woman reported, Fritzsching allegedly returned and pushed her into the wall while demanding the return of jewelry. The next day he appeared again and, when she threatened to call police, but he allegedly said nothing would happen to him because he was a cop, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The Hillsborough Police Department placed Fritzsching on leave pending the outcome of his case. He no longer works for the department, said Capt. Mark O’Connor.
Michelle Durand can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.