Domestic assault charges dropped against Chattanooga police officer

James Oister
photo James Oister

Charges were dropped against a Chattanooga police officer Thursday from a Christmas Day domestic assault incident, according to online court records.

James Oister, 34, was arrested in 2017 after he went to an estranged family member's house in Harrison to be with children as they opened presents on Christmas Day. He then allegedly became argumentative over some gift wrapping, according to his arrest affidavit.

The police department launched an internal affairs investigation and Oister was put on paid administrative leave.

Though the criminal charges have been dropped, Chattanooga police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal said Oister will remain on administrative leave, and the internal affairs investigation will proceed now that there has been a disposition in the criminal case.

It's unclear how long that investigation may take, as investigation timelines vary widely, Myzal said.

The timetable depends how many people need to be interviewed, what kind of evidence may need to be collected, how many records are needed (court documents, arrest affidavits, other agency reports if applicable), she said.