KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville Police Department officer was arrested Monday on a charge of aggravated domestic assault, the third KPD officer to be arrested in the last month.

John Pickens was taken into custody Monday at KPD headquarters after the Knox County Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant charging him with aggravated domestic assault. The warrant was obtained after the wife of Pickens met with investigators at the Knoxville Family Justice Center.

He has been placed on administrative leave with his police powers suspended. Pickens has been with KPD since 2006 and was currently assigned as a School Resource Officer at Fulton High School.

mugshot of Knoxville Police Department officer John Pickens.
Knoxville Police Department officer John Pickens. Photo: Knox County Sheriff’s Office

The victim told investigators that the two had an argument sometime after midnight on August 1 when he became angry and began to assault her. She alleged that Pickens began to choke her to the point where she could not breathe.

The arrest report states that the victim had visible marks on her body and showed investigators photos of marks around her neck.

“Officer Pickens’ alleged actions are concerning and completely unacceptable, and we take those allegations seriously,” Knoxville Chief of Police Paul Noel said in a statement. “Nobody is above the law, and that especially applies to those who are sworn to uphold those very same laws. We are working to gather all of the pertinent facts surrounding his arrest and will act as quickly as possible to handle this matter definitively and appropriately.”

This is a developing story. Download the WATE 6 News app to get updates sent to your phone.

Last month, two officers were placed on administrative leave after they were charged with driving under the influence.