A Chattanooga police officer arrested on a domestic assault charge appeared in Hamilton County General Sessions Court for the first time Tuesday, but the case was rescheduled for Feb. 6 after a brief discussion.
Charles Brock, 32, is accused of assaulting his wife during a fight on Christmas Day. When Signal Mountain police arrived at the couple's home around 8 p.m. on Dec. 25, Brock's wife told officers her husband tackled her and grabbed her as he tried to get his phone from her, records show.
Recently, Brock had been recording their arguments on his cellphone, the woman told police officers. She said she grabbed his phone out of his pocket while he was recording and that he fought with her to get it back, hurting her.
Brock told officers that he did fight with his wife to try to get his phone back, but said he never intended to hurt her.
Signal Mountain police officers did not arrest Brock that night. Instead, the Chattanooga police officer was allowed to leave the home. Officers asked that his wife come to the police station the next day to give a written statement about the incident.
However, Brock called his wife the next day and told her not to give the statement, according to an affidavit. He told her she would be arrested if she cooperated with police because she was the "primary aggressor."
Tennessee state law encourages law enforcement to arrest the "primary aggressor" in any domestic violence situation, but gives police officers the flexibility to arrest one, neither or both people involved in an altercation, depending on the situation.
Rather than arresting his wife, Signal Mountain police arrested Brock and charged him with domestic assault. He turned himself in at the Hamilton County Jail on Dec. 27 and was released on a $1,000 bond.
In court Tuesday, Judge Gary Starnes moved Brock's next appearance to Feb. 6 at 8:30 a.m. and reminded Brock he should have no contact with his wife. Brock's attorney, Janie Parks Varnell, declined comment Tuesday.
The Times Free Press does not typically identify victims of domestic abuse.
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