Police: Fight over cellphone led to domestic assault charge against husband of Mayor Berke adviser

Robert and Lacie Stone
Robert and Lacie Stone

Chattanooga police arrested the husband of one of Mayor Andy Berke's senior advisers Friday amid allegations he assaulted his wife.

Robert Stone, 54, was charged with domestic assault and malicious vandalism and has since been released on bond. He is married to Lacie Stone, who works as a senior adviser to Berke.

photo Robert and Lacie Stone

Lacie Stone, 38, and her husband got into a fight over her cellphone around 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to a police report. Lacie Stone told police her husband dragged her by the belt to the door of their home in North Chattanooga and told her to leave.

She said her phone was crushed during the disagreement and told police she hit Robert Stone in the forehead during the struggle as she tried to keep the phone.

Lacie Stone then got into a vehicle and started to leave her home, according to the report, when her husband threw a rock into the back windshield and shattered it.

Police noted both Lacie and Robert Stone were injured during the incident. The report does not offer any motivation for the alleged assault.

After the incident, Lacie Stone "called a friend who worked at the police department" and told this unidentified police employee her husband was going to kill her, according to the report. The police department refused to identify that employee Monday.

"Due to the open investigation and pending prosecution, no further information will be released at this time," police spokesman Kyle Miller wrote in a statement. He said all available information was in the arrest report.

The report does not say what, if any, role the unidentified police employee played in the subsequent investigation into the alleged assault.

Robert Stone declined to comment when reached Monday. His attorney, Lee Davis, said he is hopeful Robert and Lacie can work out their differences.

Lacie Stone did not return multiple messages left on her cellphone asking for comment. Mayor Andy Berke also did not return a message left on his cellphone.

Stone has worked for Berke since he was elected in 2013. Berke promoted her in March from being his communications director to being a senior adviser. Her salary jumped from $65,588 to $80,000 with the move.

Berke has made fighting domestic violence a key part of his tenure as mayor, and in 2013 launched a $3.7 million Family Justice Center in an attempt to make it easier for victims of domestic violence to get help.

Robert Stone is due in Hamilton County Sessions Court on May 31.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas. Follow on Twitter @ShellyBradbury.