August 29, 2007 in City

When push comes to shove, bride spends night in jail

By and The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane bride had an unexpected wedding expense over the weekend: bail.

Brandy Gambill didn’t spend her wedding night with her groom, she didn’t open gifts at a post-wedding brunch and she barely made it onto a plane Monday for her honeymoon in Florida.

That’s because the 27-year-old woman was charged with domestic violence and hauled to jail, her hair still pinned up from the wedding, after a post-reception conflict at the Spokane Club early Sunday.

“I was in shock. I’m still in shock,” said Gambill’s mother, Kerry Peters. “It was so unfortunate. It was such a beautiful wedding.”

The honeymoon is turning out well, too, said Peters, who spoke to her daughter Tuesday morning. The attention the arrest has received got the Gambills an upgrade at their Florida hotel.

It’s the part in the middle that got ugly.

Police said Gambill shoved her mother in front of the Spokane Club, but the family contends she was just moving her mother off the train of her wedding gown.

Peters said it was only a slight push and that she only stumbled a bit because she was wearing high heels, but police jumped in to arrest Gambill because they were angry with her. “I wasn’t assaulted,” Peters said.

There is little argument over what preceded the officers’ arrival.

Gambill’s wedding party was moving gifts and other items from the reception at the Masonic Temple to a suite at the Spokane Club. Things got a little noisy in Room 322, and after warnings from Spokane Club staff, Gambill and her husband, Chad Gambill, were asked to leave.

Other guests at the Spokane Club checked out because of the noise, said Spokane police Maj. Scott Johnson.

“They had been given repeated opportunities to keep it down,” he said.

Spokane Club staff called police to get the wedding party to leave. When officers knocked on the door at Room 322 and told Brandy Gambill she would have to leave or be arrested, she got into a verbal confrontation with Spokane Club staff and police, according to a police report.

Peters said that angered the officers.

“She pushed that officer’s button,” Peters said of her daughter getting “mouthy” with Officer Erin Blessing. But, Peters said, the officer could have handled the situation better. Peters is considering filing a formal complaint.

Brandy Gambill eventually grabbed her wedding dress, suitcase and a bag of alcohol bottles and stormed out of the room, to the lobby and to the sidewalk. Her husband, mother and the officers followed, the report states.

Outside, Gambill was throwing around her wedding dress and yelling. Peters tried to calm her down. According to the police report, Peters was walking away when Gambill shoved her “very hard” with two hands.

Peters didn’t fall, but Blessing and Officer Trevor Nollmeyer handcuffed the bride for fourth-degree assault domestic violence and sat her in a patrol car.

Gambill’s new husband was “begging the officer not to take her, but they did anyway,” Peters said. “Off she went in her little tiara and her curls and everything.”

Peters, too, insisted she didn’t want her daughter to go to jail, the report states.

“Obviously if those facts are correct, it’s disturbing,” said Gambill’s attorney, Bevan Maxey. “She was simply trying to get her mother off her wedding dress so it didn’t rip.”

That’s not what the arresting officers saw, Johnson said.

“She was assaulted in front of the officer,” Johnson said of Peters. “With domestic violence- related charges, the law says the officer shall arrest.”

It wasn’t assault, Maxey said.

“It’s not illegal for people to touch one another, even if they are angry,” Maxey said. “It has to be harmful.”

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

Get stories like this in a free daily email