A US Army colonel in Washington state has been charged with assaulting his wife in front of their kids, repeatedly kicking her with his boots, authorities said.
Owen G. Ray, the chief of staff assigned to I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, ignored commands by cops to come out of his family’s home for two hours on Sunday in DuPont, where officers responded to a domestic assault involving a firearm, police said in a statement.
“Upon arrival, officers attempted to make contact, but the male adult suspect refused to comply with officers’ orders and refused to exit the home,” police said. “After a short period of time, the victim-family members exited the home to safety, but the armed suspect refused to disarm or surrender.”
Ray, who formerly led 1st Special Forces Group at JBLM, has been suspended from his post, a spokesman told the News Tribune.
Prosecutors in Pierce County have charged Ray with two counts of second-degree assault with a firearm, two counts of felony harassment, first-degree kidnapping and reckless endangerment, police said.
Prosecutors said in charging documents obtained by the newspaper that Ray’s wife hid from him in the bedroom of their youngest children during an argument. She then heard Ray say “let’s do this” before heading to the garage, where he stored guns, prosecutors said.
Ray later went back into the family’s home, where he found his wife in their children’s bedroom and became enraged that she called cops, according to charging documents.
After pointing a gun at his wife, Ray allegedly “proceeded to kick” her repeatedly in the face and chest with his boots.
“The two children had woken up and were screaming, ‘Don’t kill mom, don’t shoot us,’” prosecutors wrote.
Some 15 minutes after cops arrived, Ray let his wife and two youngest children out of the home. His teenage daughter left minutes later, the News Tribune reported.
At one point during the standoff, Ray referenced his extensive combat training and told cops “he had killed a lot of people” and had no problem taking out an officer if they tried to arrest him, charging documents show.
Ray was also holding a pistol to his head while on a balcony at his home and was spotted holding a rifle inside the residence, police said.
Investigators also found two handguns and a shotgun in the home’s master bedroom, while several guns were found in a garage safe.
Ray was scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon, the News Tribune reported.