A Tennessee State Trooper is currently on-leave pending an investigation into domestic violence charges stemming from an incident.
Trent Sutherland was hired as a trooper in 2015 and works out of the Lawrenceburg District. This weekend, he was arrested on charges of domestic simple assault.
However, neighbors who claim they were present this past weekend say the arrest seemed unnecessary.
According to a Columbia Police affidavit, it all began on Saturday, July 7. That’s when the 29-year-old lawman was allegedly involved in an altercation with his fiancée.
According to the arrest document, the altercation was witnessed by a third party in the home.
The report says, “Sutherland grabbed [his fiancée] by the arms, pushed her against a wall and held her on the floor.”
According to police, there was evidence at the scene to corroborate an altercation including a broken coffee pot and thrown food.
News 2 attempted to talk to Sutherland, but he refused.
But the 29-year-old’s neighbors were quick to take his side, questioning the arrest.
One man from across the street, who chose not to be identified, said, “He’s lived here about a year now. He sits out here. He watches for cars that come flying down the road for my kids, our neighbor’s kids, his kids. We had a big cookout together [on] the Fourth of July. Everyone got along great. Everything was fine. They are good neighbors. They never cause [any] trouble.”
When asked what happened, the man who said he saw the police arrive that day says this:
“I think one of them said something or done something and it turned into an argument from there. I think someone else was there and they may have seen something and thought it was worse than what it really was.”
A woman who claims to have spoken to the trooper’s fiancé said this:
“It’s ridiculous that all of this has gone on. His wife didn’t call and didn’t try and press charges. I know that they tried to make her press charges, to make a report, and she didn’t. There’s no violence here.”
When asked what she saw, or if the woman was injured, the female neighbor said this:
“No. He wasn’t even here. No, she was not injured. She was telling the cops to leave her alone and they wouldn’t.”
The woman tells News 2 she believes the arrest was a lot about nothing.
“Nothing. Nothing at all,” she said.
Lt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol told News 2, the internal investigation into the incident is now underway.
“If the trooper violated the law, he will be dealt with accordingly,” Miller said. “But again, we hold ourselves to a much higher standard than what other people may hold us to and we take these allegations extremely seriously.”
Even though Sutherland is still a trooper, Miller said Sutherland’s car, badge and gun were seized until the investigation concludes.
At this time, the trooper is on discretionary leave with pay pending the outcome of the case and the internal investigation.