CHICKASHA, Okla. - Many of us have heard stories of domestic abuse but, rarely, do we get to see it up close and personal.
A Chickasha police officer’s body camera is giving a rare glimpse into the problem of domestic abuse.
The officer showed up in the nick of time, potentially saving a woman’s life.
Officers were called to an apartment complex in Chickasha on March 13, following a report of a domestic disturbance.
According to court documents, they could not tell if the man or the woman was the aggressor so they transported the wife to another location in an effort to diffuse the situation.
But, just hours later, they were called back again.
For some reason, the wife had come back and, this time, they said there was no mistaking the aggressor.
The officer looked through the blinds of the apartment window, and court documents said he could “see that the male was pulling the head of the female back towards him” and “had his hands around the female’s throat.”
The door was locked, so officers kicked it in.
They put the man in handcuffs and tried to verify with the woman what they’d seen through the window.
“Saw him on top of you. What exactly was he doing?” the officer said.
“Pulled my head back,” the woman answers.
“Okay, that’s what I thought. I just wanted to be sure,” the officer responds.
We showed the footage to the senior director of Domestic Violence Victim Services with the YWCA of Oklahoma City.
“Even as an advocate who has done this work for years, things like that are hard for me to watch,” said Angela Beatty.
The victim tells police some other details in the footage.
“He told me, this time, he’d kill me,” the woman said, while crying.
“Often, victims are in fear of their lives, because abusers do say 'I will kill you,'” Beatty said.
While still lying on the ground, the female admits to the officer she knows this is not normal.
“I don’t know what love is,” she tells the officer.
“Well, it’s definitely not this,” the officer responds back.
“It’s not this,” the female agrees.
Beatty said, while it may be difficult to watch, the video highlights the importance of paying attention to the warning signs of domestic abuse.
“I think people try to sweep violence in families under the rug. We want to ignore it. We want to act like it doesn’t happen in our communities. But, domestic violence will only rise to a level that a community is willing to accept,” Beatty said.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can contact the YWCA at 917-YWCA(9922) in the metro area or 1-800-522-SAFE statewide.
NewsChannel 4 is not identifying the suspect in an effort to protect the victim.
However, he was arrested for domestic assault and battery by strangulation.