Hartford Firefighter Arrested for Assaulting Child on Leave Without Pay: Fire Chief

The Hartford firefighter who allegedly hit her daughter with a belt and even choked her has been placed on administrative pay without leave, the fire chief said on Wednesday.

Aarvah Quinonez, 34, who has been with the Hartford Fire Department since 2011, was arrested on Tuesday morning for the alleged incidents, the fire department said. 

The fire chief Reginald Freeman, said she was put on paid leave but after reviewing details of the case, will no longer be paid. 

"Quite frankly we have been digesting as an organization it is very concerning but there is a process. That process will run it’s course, but as an organization we have taken the stance of certain things we hold in high regard and that is our conduct off duty,” Freeman said.

On Feb. 4, Hartford Police said they began an investigation after they were informed of a possible assault of a minor by their mother, Quinonez. 

Quinonez daughter told police and DCF officials that she had gone into her mother's room to charge a cellphone. Her mother thought the daughter was stealing the phone and woke her up from being asleep by striking her with a belt  on her collar bone, face and legs, the arrest warrant stated. 

After Quinonez left the house, the daughter tried to call her father who lives in North Carolina. Quinonez became irate after coming home and learning about the phone call. She allegedly pushed the girl against a wall by the throat, the arrest warrant said. 

The daughter was then forced to take a cold shower before Quinonez made her call her father again while she was cold and undressed, the arrest documents said. After the girl asked her father to come get her, her grandparents told police that Quinonez hung up the phone.

Multiple serious allegations stemmed from the investigation, including alleged incidents that Quinonez may have struck her child with a belt and choked the minor in 2015 and 2016, police said 

During one 2015 incident, Quinonez secured her daughter to a metal pole with grey tape and "whooped" her with a leather belt, the documents said. Another time the same year, Quinonez allegedly bit her daughter because she had hit her brother, the arrest warrant claimed. 

Police were able to obtain an arrest warrant for Quinonez on April 19.

“Serious allegations. We obviously have a hill to climb, but I think at the end of the day justice will prevail,” Quinonez's attorney, Kevin Joiner, said.

In 2006, Hartford police searched for Quinonez after they say she went missing from her three children for more than two weeks. A judge temporarily relinquished Quinonez's custody of the three children, aged between 1 and 5 years old at the time. 

Quinonez is accused of second-degree assault, third degree strangulation, risk of injury to a minor.

Her bond was set at $100,000 and she is expected to be in court on May 25. 

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