Women’s rights prof arrested for beating up boyfriend on Valentine’s Day

Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Former Reporter

  • Joann Baney, a professor at Columbia University, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on Valentine’s Day after beating up her boyfriend as he slept in her home.
  • Baney teaches peacekeeping skills to the FDNY and the NYPD as part of Columbia’s business school while also advocating for women’s rights and awareness of domestic violence against women.
  • The professor has also appeared in numerous off-Broadway productions as an actress and singer.
  • A Columbia University professor—who is an ardent supporter of women’s rights and advocate against domestic violence—was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor assault after beating up her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day.

    According to her faculty bio on Columbia’s website, Joann Baney, 54, is the faculty director of the FDNY Officers Management Institute and also serves as faculty on the NYPD’s Police Management Institute. Both schools are part of Columbia’s Executive Education program under the business school.

    "I hit him because he cheated on me."   

    The NY Daily News, which originally broke the story, reported that Baney trains New York City’s police officers and firefighters peacekeeping skills and “how to control heated situations.”

    According to public court documents, Baney was arrested at 11:22 p.m., on Saturday. She is charged with multiple accounts, including assault, intent to cause physical injuries, and harassment.

    Baney allegedly attacked Walter Frey, 46, as he slept inside her Upper West Side apartment, according to the NY Daily News.

    “I hit him because he cheated on me,” Baney told a police officer, according to the newspaper, which also linked to her Twitter account to showcase her outspokenness on domestic violence against women.

    The Twitter account, @jobaney, appears to have been deleted.

    Frey, a retired police officer, reportedly suffered lacerations to his neck and ear. In 2003, Frey was arrested for aggravated harassment for phone calls made to two female acquaintances and was suspended.

    Baney is schedule to appear in court Feb., 27, according to court documents.

    According to her faculty page, Baney has performed in “numerous” off-Broadway productions as a singer and actress. She is also the co-founder and vice president of the Professional Development Company, Inc., a communications consulting firm.

    Baney did not respond to an emailed request for comment from Campus Reform.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn





    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Former Reporter

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, Kaitlyn was a reporter at Red Alert Politics and covered business and restaurants for the Alexandria Times.  

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