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Durango police officer accused of domestic violence appears in court

Arguments over money, infidelity apparently led to abuse

Issues over money and an alleged extramarital affair led to an altercation that resulted in a Durango Police Department officer’s arrest earlier this week on suspicion of domestic violence, according to arresting documents.

Moore

Justin Moore, 31, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the alleged assault, according to court records.

The officer, who has been suspended on paid leave pending an investigation, appeared Wednesday in La Plata County Combined Courts wearing an orange jumpsuit. Moore, who did not have a lawyer, could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor assault charge, punishable by six to 18 months in jail and a fine of $500 to $5,000, said La Plata County Magistrate Sarah Law.

The court released Moore on his word that he’ll appear at his next court date, scheduled for Dec. 17, and on the condition that he not contact his family, stay away from the Bayfield home where his family lives and relinquish all firearms or weapons.

According to the arrest affidavit, deputies responded Monday morning to a home on Pine Cone Drive in the Bayfield area after a woman contacted law enforcement with concerns for another woman’s well-being. The reporting party shared photographs with law enforcement that showed what appeared to be bruises on the victim’s body, according to the affidavit. Deputies spoke with the alleged victim and observed the wounds.

According to the affidavit, Moore and the alleged victim argued over Moore’s birthday plans and about “him having money for beer and not money for things around the house,” according to arresting documents. Later that night, the woman asked Moore to turn down a television so she and the children could sleep, but her requests were ignored, law enforcement says. She turned the TV volume down herself, but Moore, after she left, turned the volume up.

“This went back and forth a few times, and eventually when (the victim) went back out to turn the volume down, Justin grabbed her right wrist and forcibly took the remote from her,” according to arresting documents. Deputies identified bruising on the victim’s right wrist.

The victim returned to the bedroom to sleep and Moore “came in shortly after, and tried to remove his dresser from her room,” according to the affidavit. The victim recorded the behavior on video and showed it to law enforcement. Deputies noticed “his speech being slurred and unintelligible at the time suggesting that he was intoxicated,” documents show.

The two had argued about Moore’s “infidelity” in the past and, when he left his phone in his wife’s room, she searched it “to see if her suspicions of infidelity were true,” according to the affidavit. She found a message to another woman saying, “Goodnight I love you,” and took pictures of the texts.

Moore noticed her taking photographs and “became aggressive, and tried to take both phones away from her,” according to the affidavit. The victim told law enforcement she tried to lock herself in a bathroom but couldn’t get the door shut and tried to keep it closed with her leg.

“While she was holding the door Justin kicked it in, breaking the bottom half of the door in the process, and making contact with her leg,” according to arresting documents. The victim fell back and Moore took both phones and left the bathroom. Deputies identified a large bruise on the victim’s right leg.

The victim followed Moore outside to get her phone back and, after he gave it to her, the couple argued before he “arm barred” her, according to law enforcement. The victim told deputies she did not call law enforcement because “she was scared to (call) because Justin told her that all the cops in the county hate her because she called a month ago.”

“Also, she said Justin told her that no one would believe her anyway because he is a cop,” according to the affidavit. “Lastly, she mentioned in her messages to (the woman who reported the alleged assault) that he has mentally abused her to the point where she is scared.”

bhauff@durangoherald.com

Jun 18, 2021
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