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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

[ND] Retired chief's wife: Fearing for her safety, she fled their home

...Fearing for her safety, she fled their home... although her husband had been abusing her for several years this was the first time she had told her daughter about it... Police chief and sole officer in Thompson from 1978 until retiring in May 2000, Howard became famous as “Cop John”...

Retired Thompson, N.D., police chief faces charges
Grand Forks Herald
Stephen J. Lee slee@gfherald.com
Susanne Nadeau
July 01, 2008
[Excerpts] John Thomas Howard, retired longtime police chief in Thompson, N.D., appeared Monday in state district court in Grand Forks on two charges of attacking his wife... Arrested on Friday, Howard spent the weekend in the Grand Forks County jail, bailing out late Monday night. He was ordered to have no contact with his wife. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of the most serious charge. Howard was charged Monday with a Class B misdemeanor of simple assault/ domestic violence for an incident June 15... But it was an incident Friday that brought law enforcement out to arrest the former police chief on a Class C felony charge of causing serious bodily injury to his wife. About 5 p.m. Friday, Mary Howard, crying and distraught, met with three deputies of the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department in the parking lot of the bank in Thompson, according to the complaint filed by deputies. She claimed Howard, shortly after waking up at 9:30 a.m. Friday, began arguing with her again over his sleeping pills, a dispute that had started Thursday. She said he choked her with both hands around her neck, hurting her and cutting off her ability to breathe. Fearing for her safety, she fled their home and called her daughter. Mary Howard told the deputies that although her husband had been abusing her for several years, this was the first time she had told her daughter about it. The deputies reported they could see a bruise on Mary Howard’s wrist that she said resulted from the attack June 15. The felony charge describes the alleged attack Friday as Howard cutting off Mary Howard’s ability to breathe as well as the blood flow to her head by choking her with both hands. Howard told the deputies who arrested him that he had argued with his wife Friday and put both his hands near her throat but did not choke her... Police chief and sole officer in Thompson from 1978 until retiring in May 2000, Howard became famous as “Cop John,” handing out hundreds of speeding tickets a year to enforce the 25-mph speed limit through the town of 1,000.... [Full article here]

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