Julie Humphreys, 509.622.5868
Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 3 p.m.
Man arrested for strangling the mother of two of his children is released without a no contact order in place
On August 15th at about 11am, SPD was called to an argument at an apartment in the 4700 block of North Altamont. When officers arrived a man responded through the door, refusing to open it, that he and a female were just arguing and that she left and they didn’t need police. Officers then saw the female run out the back door of the residence telling officers that the man was coming out as well. Officers heard the back door shut and the man never came out.
The female told officers that she and the man share two children but live in separate apartments in the unit. She said the man forced his way into her apartment, pinned her against the wall with both hands around her neck to the point her feet were above the floor and she couldn’t breathe for about 5-6 seconds.
The victim said the suspect then drug her around the home, splashed water all over her until she couldn’t breathe as she was trying to get a drink because her throat felt odd – and then strangled her again on her couch while threatening to kill her. She also told officers that their one year old child was inside with the suspect along with one of his daughters, a 5 year old. The victim expressed fear for the children’s safety.
Officers were eventually able to get 26 year old Calvin Stephens out of the apartment with the help of his father who arrived at the scene and talked to his son. When Stephens came outside he held the one year old and officers say he appeared to be using the child as a shield so police would not take him into custody. After some de-escalate work, officers were able to arrest Stephens without incident for 2nd degree assault. The children were not harmed.
Stephens was released on his own recognizance and told to stay away from the victim but no formal order was issued.
Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual violence. A woman who has suffered a non-fatal strangulation incident with her intimate partner is 7 times more likely to be killed by the same person in the future than a domestic violence victim who has not been strangled, according to research reported in the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention.
If you or someone you know has experienced strangulation, SPD implores you not to dismiss your offender’s actions and seek help before the violence escalates. Resources can be found at endtheviolencespokane.org. If you are in imminent danger, call 911.
Officer John O'Brien