Columbia University professor Joann Baney, 54, is accused of assaulting her longtime boyfriend after he allegedly cheated on her

By Caitlin Keating
Updated February 18, 2015 04:15 PM
Credit: Daniel Barry/Bloomberg News

In a strange turn of events, a New York City college professor who trains police and firefighters how to diffuse heated situations has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

Joann Baney, an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, is accused of assaulting her longtime boyfriend, Walter Frey, 46, while he slept inside her Upper West Side apartment about 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, the New York Daily News reports.

“I hit him because he cheated on me,” Baney told a cop who responded to the assault on Valentine’s Day, according to the newspaper. Frey, a retired NYPD sergeant, sustained cuts to his left ear and the right side of his neck.

Baney, 54, is reportedly a defender of women’s rights and an outspoken critic of domestic violence. She is on the faculty of the NYPD’s Police Management Institute and author of the book Guide to Interpersonal Communication.

Court documents obtained by PEOPLE show that she was charged with multiple counts including assault, intent to cause physical injury, attempted assault with intent to cause physical injury, and harassment.

Frey was previously charged with aggravated harassment in 2003 after making two phone calls to a female acquaintance, according to the New York Post.

Baney was arraigned on Sunday and is due back in court on Feb. 27.