Montezuma County sheriff’s deputy Donnie Mack Brown has been arrested and charged with domestic violence and harassment, according to the Cortez Police Department and 22nd Judicial District Attorney Will Furse.
Brown was arrested Sunday evening at his home on Cherry Street, according to a Cortez Police Department arrest affidavit.
According to witness reports, Brown was intoxicated when he got into an altercation with his wife, who was attempting to prevent him from possibly driving away.
Brown tried to leave the home after his wife told him not to hold the grandchildren because he was intoxicated.
While she and a family friend, who works for the Colorado State Patrol, tried to prevent him from opening the garage door, Brown allegedly twisted his wife’s wrist and pushed her onto a box in the garage, according to the report.
A witness said the couple argued and Brown pushed her inside the home and attempted to force open a door of a bedroom, where the family had retreated.
Brown’s wife took the car keys and fled the home with her kids, grandchildren and a family friend, leaving in the friend’s Chevy truck.
Officers from the Cortez Police Department found Brown sitting on the porch of his home. He claimed he had been assaulted by his wife and best friend, according to the affidavit, and that he had planned to leave on foot but wanted his keys. Brown then emptied his pockets, stood with his hands above his head and said, “Go ahead.”
Brown was later arrested.
Police interviewed Brown’s wife, and other witnesses after finding them parked at a nearby church. No serious injuries were reported. When questioned about the alleged assault, Brown’s wife would not answer, according to the report. She said “he has never done anything like this before and I do not want this to ruin his career.”
Brown has been charged with harassment, a Class 3 misdemeanor, and domestic violence, a misdemeanor, said District Attorney Furse. No other arrests were made.
Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said Brown turned in his badge and firearm and was put on unpaid administrative leave pending an Internal Affairs investigation.
A protection order now prohibits Brown from contacting the alleged victim and requires that he not possess weapons or drugs. He is subject to sobriety monitoring as part of pretrial supervision.
Brown spent one night in jail. He appeared in court Monday and bonded out, Nowlin said. Brown has a pretrial court date Aug. 17.
Nowlin said Brown has been with the department seven or eight years. He started as a detention officer, then became certified after passing Peace Officer Standards and Training and was hired as a deputy.
In 2018, Brown was involved in two job-related, problematic incidents, one of which led to disciplinary action.
In August 2018, Brown was disciplined after he entered an unlocked classroom on the Dolores Schools campus during a security check, and, using his hand to simulate a gun, pointed a finger at the teacher and said “You’re dead” in front of students.
Nowlin said Brown was docked pay, put on probation for eight months, took communication training and was taken off of the Dolores town beat.
Earlier that month, Brown was on mounted patrol during Escalante Days when his horse kicked and injured two children. Nowlin said witnesses reported the horse kicked backward after the children were roughhousing near the horse and one had allegedly hit it with a plastic hammer. Family members disagreed with the report and said the horse should never have been in the area where kids were playing. One child was hospitalized with a head injury, and the other suffered an abrasion.
Nowlin said Brown was not disciplined, but procedures were changed as a result of the incident. Mounted Patrol members are no longer allowed to enter a crowd unless needed for a specific police action. Also, horses standing together must stand head to tail so each officer can observe what is happening behind the other.