A Bad Luck Domestic
Every police officer deals with their share of domestic violence cases. They are one of the more dangerous calls we take. Arizona law requires we make an arrest once physical violence has occurred. The only way to insure no one dies, after the police leave, is to take someone to jail.
Many times it can be tough to figure out who the primary aggressor is. I hate arresting both parties but sometimes there is no choice. Over a year ago, I arrested a man because he used a bat on his wife’s car window. He took responsibility for his actions and gave me no grief when I took him to jail.
At the jail, we had a conversation and Conner told me his wife was abusing him continually and he finally exploded, taking his anger out on her car. He explained he had never laid a hand on her and knew, if he did, he would be the one arrested.
Conner had a good point. I have seen fellow male officers overlook key components when the abuse is actually being committed by a female. I understand the officer’s reasoning. When a male has at least twice the strength of a female, it’s hard to comprehend a man being abused.
After listening to Conner’s side, I felt he was believable and I gave my guys a heads up. I asked them not to arrest him on his wife’s say so and look closely at the situation. The next time our officers had contact with the unhappy couple, after additional investigation, Doreen was arrested.
You are probably asking why these couples stay together and I don’t have a pat answer. Through my training and experience, I’m told most women will go back to their abuser fourteen times before finally leaving. I’ve dealt with several volatile situations and know if the woman stays, she will be dead before she reaches the national average. I have never seen statistics on men as domestic violence victims, which is another sad fact because it happens more than most people realize.
I’ve run into Conner several times and he is usually by his wife’s side. I hold my counsel and stay silent because I know it’s important that Conner and Doreen feel they can call us when needed, no matter the circumstances. The few times I have spoken to Conner privately he refuses to leave his wife.
I was working a Saturday morning shift and before I began my day, I had to clear the season’s first snow from my patrol windows. Our temperature had warmed up to frigid 35F degrees by 10 am when I received my first call for service. It was a domestic fight in progress at Conner and Doreen’s house.
I had no backup, which is typical on the weekend day shift. I headed to their house and asked dispatch to locate an off duty officer and apprise him of the situation, in case I needed additional support.
As I approached the house, I could see Conner standing behind his vehicle, at least the top half of Conner. He had no shirt on. Once I parked and got out of my car, Conner ran towards me. He was completely naked. His arms were waving and he was yelling that Doreen locked him out of the house. I was trying not to look but at the same time, it’s always safety first and it’s important to watch the situation closely. Conner’s hair (on his head) was wet and he was jumping around and obviously freezing. All I can say is it wasn’t only Conner’s arms that were jumping.
I gave him my jacket, which he placed around his waist. I opened the back door of my patrol car and locked him inside. This was a safety issue and by having Conner secure, I only had to worry about Doreen.
I knocked on the front door. Doreen answered and calmly told me Conner was not welcome back. After receiving a matching statement that no physical violence had occurred, I requested a bag be packed for Conner. Doreen put together some of his essential clothes and was nice enough to throw in a pair of flip flops (I’m being facetious). Though she wasn’t happy, I made her add tennis shoes.
I took the clothes to Conner and he dressed himself. I then drove him to our local hotel where he booked a room. He told me Doreen chased him out of the shower and then out of the house. I can’t explain what he was thinking when he ran outside naked. The good news that has come from this situation is Conner, for the first time, swears he is never going back. He told me Doreen was crazy. You think?
The bad news is that it’s colder than hell outside and I need a new jacket.