HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – His family fought fiercely to bring him home to Long Island when he was in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
They celebrated the night the 35-year-old husband and father was released from a detention facility over the summer.
Now, an undocumented Ecuadorian pizza deliveryman – who was at the center of a national immigration debate after being detained at Fort Hamilton – has been arrested on domestic violence allegations.
According to the criminal complaint, Pablo Villavicencio pushed his wife against a wall, slapped her, and grabbed her phone to keep her from calling police. It reportedly happened Thursday at the couple’s Hempstead, Long Island home.
Back in June, Villavicencio was detained trying to deliver pizza to the army base in Brooklyn. An ID check discovered an outstanding deportation warrant from 2010.
The arrest was a flash point in the nation’s immigration debate and sparked protests to keep him with his family. A judge ultimately allowed him to stay, saying he had “no criminal history, paid his taxes, and worked diligently to provide for his family.”
Villivicencio has worked at two different pizzerias in Queens – and while nobody at either place wanted to say anything about him on camera – one former co-worker told CBS2’s Jessica Layton these allegations are especially troubling given the way his wife Sandra Chica and the community rallied around him.
Many of the politicians who were so outspoken on his behalf back in June and July aren’t talking about the arrest. A spokesperson for city council speaker Corey Johnson did say, “the speaker was supportive of Pablo when he was unjustly detained by ICE in the summer, but these latest allegations are troubling.”
The 35-year-old was arraigned Saturday on a misdemeanor charge and remained jailed Monday afternoon. He is due in Nassau County court Tuesday morning.