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Forest Park police chief under investigation because of domestic violence report

by Nolan Clay Modified: January 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013
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According to the report, the victim reported the incident took place in the basement of their home at 5 a.m. Jan. 6.

An Oklahoma City police officer was dispatched to investigate at 12:54 p.m. the same day.

The officer, Joe Laughead, wrote the victim “stated that while he was carrying an electronic sound amplifier his wife ‘came at' him carrying a multi-tool with the knife blade extended.”

“As she approached him, she was yelling things such as ‘I'm going to tear your stuff up,'” the officer wrote.

The victim said the suspect “began swinging the blade at him as he held the amplifier with his right hand,” the officer wrote. The victim said his hand was struck “at some point during her knife-swinging actions.”

The officer wrote the victim's hand “was visibly red and appeared slightly swollen.”

The officer wrote the victim said “she threw the multi-tool/knife at him, striking him in the back” as he turned away and began walking up the stairs. The officer wrote, “There were what appeared to be knife cut marks on one end of the amplifier.”

Investigators confiscated the multi-tool and took photos of the amplifier, victim and suspect, police spokesman Gary Knight told The Oklahoman.

Knight had an explanation for why Amanda Eastridge was not arrested.

“She was not arrested that day because she was not interviewed,” Knight wrote in an email.

“We prefer to get both sides of the story before deciding whether or not to make an arrest. Plus neither party had any significant injuries and they had already parted ways. By the time the female was interviewed, neither party was willing to prosecute.”

Eastridges' statements

Amanda Eastridge said her husband got enrolled “in some intensive counseling” since the argument. She said both are in marriage counseling.

“We got into a verbal argument. He left. He came back an hour later. We went to bed,” she said. “There was never a knife. That never happened. … I just think that the whole situation was blown way out of proportion and I think it was politically motivated. Either against him or against me, we don't know.”

In her statement Friday, Amanda Eastridge wrote, “We are having serious marital problems that culminated in my husband making a series of mistakes that have jeopardized our marriage. … I truly hope that my exemplary record will speak for itself and my husband and I will be able to work through this incredibly difficult time together.”

During the interview at their home Wednesday, Bryan Eastridge said, “It was an emotionally charged incident that spiraled out of control.”

He said he reported the incident only because he was obligated to by policy.

He said he later made an amended statement on a refusal-to-prosecute form after calming down and getting his thoughts together.

In a phone call Wednesday night after the interview, Bryan Eastridge said, “I want you to know she didn't swing a knife at me. That statement got completely misconstrued … I clarified that for the investigators, too, later on. We just want this to be done and over.”

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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