One-fourth of an Oklahoma police department is sitting behind bars. Luther Police Officer Anthony Butler is accused of attacking his girlfriend and then another officer who tried to intervene.
One of the four officers on the Luther force responded to Butler's home for a domestic dispute Sunday night and found a disturbing scene.
“Officer Walker stated when he arrived, he witnessed Butler…in the bedroom of the home on top of a female with his hands around her neck,” says Mark Opgrande with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the investigating agency for the case.
The victim says Butler came home drunk and started to argue before throwing her into a wall and then strangling her on the bed. When the other officer tried to pull Butler off, he tells investigators Butler threw him into a wall and scratched him on the neck and chest.
Walker was not seriously injured, but Luther police chief David Randall says his small department is shocked by the incident, especially because Butler trained their new recruits.
Randall says, “We are here to uphold the law, not break the law and that is something I cannot and will not condone.”
Butler is now on unpaid leave as he awaits formal charges.
Randall says the victim and her children are physically okay, but will likely need help coping with the trauma.
“I know it’s playing through her head,” Randall says. “We are reaching out to some counselors to go and talk to her and the kids to ensure that they’re all okay.”
Randall says domestic violence hits close to home from his own childhood experiences, and just hopes this family can heal. “Some of us who grew up looking at things that I guess, we took it as part of growing up…it’s not.”
Meantime, the remaining police officers in Luther are working overtime.
“The strain it has on a department of this size is tremendous,” Randall admits, “because not only did it affect his family, but it’s affecting the rest of the officers’ families because we have to rearrange now too, to maintain coverage of the town.”
The Luther town board will be reviewing Butler's employment in the coming days and from there Chief Randall says the search will likely begin for a new officer.