November 25, 1997 in City

Ex-Girlfriend Charged With Beating Up Cop Police Say Woman Punched Idaho State Police Officer, Doused Him With Pepper Spray

By The Spokesman-Review
 

An Idaho State Police officer’s former girlfriend was charged Monday with pointing his service pistol at him during a weekend dispute at his home.

Gretchen J. Vanslate, 25, also turned officer Paul Burke’s police-issued pepper spray on him and punched him several times, according to a Coeur d’Alene police report taken after the Friday night incident.

Vanslate, who allegedly forced her way into Burke’s home, was being held Monday in the Kootenai County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault. Burke suffered minor injuries but was not taken to a hospital.

Dispatchers sent Coeur d’Alene police officers to Burke’s home about 11:30 p.m. after receiving a call for help from the 26-year-old officer on his police radio.

The first two officers to arrive heard Burke yelling for help and found him in the garage trying to restrain Vanslate. Blood was coming from Burke’s nose and covered his shirt and hands, the police report said.

Burke told officers he had been sitting on his couch watching a videotape for work when someone rang the doorbell about 11:20 p.m. He ignored the bell, thinking it might be Vanslate, who had moved out of his house two weeks before.

Vanslate, listed on the police report as 5 feet 2 and weighing 120 pounds, eventually kicked the door open and chased Burke to an upstairs bedroom where he radioed for help, the police report said. She pushed Burke into a closet door, wrestled the police radio away from him and smashed it into a wall, the report said.

Burke told police Vanslate punched him several times in the face when he blocked the stairs to keep her from going down while he waited for officers to arrive. Vanslate then ran back to the bedroom, pulled Burke’s loaded .45-caliber pistol from its holster and pointed the gun at his chest, the police report said.

Vanslate put the gun away a few moments later, retrieved Burke’s pepper spray and sprayed him on the left side of his face when he tried to take the spray from her.

, DataTimes


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email