CSP trooper stripped of powers, arrested after domestic incident involving his girlfriend

Crime

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Connecticut State Police (CSP) trooper was arrested and charged after a domestic incident in Southington.

Around 8 p.m. on Saturday, officers were called to the 170 block of Rethal Street on report of a verbal
argument between 46-year-old Christopher Russell and his girlfriend.

Police said the woman’s friend called to report the incident.

According to a report, the incident started while the couple was at a wedding. Once they got home, officials said the argument continued and became physical when Russell reportedly took a mirror off the wall and broke it.

Russell claimed he was moving furniture when it accidentally fell. He also denied striking the victim but said there had been some “pushing and shoving.”

The victim, who police said appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, said she was hit in the face, but didn’t know how. She also mentioned having an injured finger on her right hand and pain and bruising on her left, upper arm.

Officers noted swelling around her right eye and knuckles.

She said Russell had her “up against as wall” and nodded when an officer asked if he choked her.

The victim declined medical treatment.

Text messages from the victim’s friend indicated that she had punched Russell several times to “stop his from destroying stuff.” The victim then blamed herself for what happened.

Officials said the victim’s 16-year-old was home at the time of the incident.

Russell was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and risk of injury to a minor third-degree assault.

He was processed and released on a $5,000 non-surety bond pending a court appearance on Monday at 9 a.m. in New Britain.

CSP learned of Russell’s arrest and a supervisor seized his department firearms, badge, identification and police cruiser — officially suspending Russell’s police powers. He will be working in an administrative position for the time being.

An investigation by CSP internal affairs is ongoing.

Russell has been an employee of the Connecticut State Police since 2008.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available. More information can be found online.

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