A New Orleans police officer who was briefly charged with attempted murder last year was booked on domestic-abuse battery against the same woman at his home in Chalmette on Wednesday.
The New Orleans Police Department said Officer Robert Hurst, an 11-year veteran, was placed on emergency suspension after the latest incident, during which he allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend.
Hurst, 40, was charged last year by Orleans Parish prosecutors with attempted murder after a December 2013 fight with the same woman, a charge that eventually was downgraded to misdemeanor battery and then dismissed in March after the woman failed to show up in court to testify against him.
His attorney said he intends to fight the newest counts.
After the latest incident, according to an arrest report, the woman told St. Bernard Parish deputies that she was “ ‘tired’ of the abuse and him misusing his title as a police officer to intimidate or scare her into not contacting the police.”
The woman claimed Hurst told her no one would believe her “no matter what happens” because of his position as an officer and that he “will make it her fault and she will go to jail.”
Hurst’s attorney, Eric Hessler, said his client had allowed the woman into his house in the 3700 block of Jupiter Drive in Chalmette because she had recently lost her housing.
About 7 a.m. Wednesday, the woman told police, she and Hurst began arguing over his relationship with another woman. After she tried to cut off the argument and close a bathroom door on him, she told deputies, he “power-shoved her” into a tub.
As he dragged the naked woman to the door, she said, Hurst told her to “get the (expletive) out” of his house. As she tried to gather her belongings, she said, he spat in her face, grabbed her and wrestled her to the bed. The woman said she yelled at him to get off her, at which point he “smacked her across the face.”
Finally, the woman said, she was able to leave the home, and her mother picked her up. The woman told police that after placing a deposit on a new apartment, she returned to the residence, where Hurst at first acted as if nothing had happened. When the two began to fight again, she said, he pushed, punched and bit her. As he grabbed her and struck her, she said, she pepper-sprayed him.
The woman showed police a video of part of the struggle during which she complained of not being able to breathe, according to the report.
Deputy Amanda Roh wrote that she had determined the woman acted in self-defense. Hurst told deputies that he “only struck her after she pepper-sprayed him.”
The woman complained of pain to her forearm and had bruises on her cheek and arm, deputies said. Both she and Hurst refused treatment on the scene, according to an arrest report.
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office booked Hurst on counts of domestic-abuse battery by strangulation, simple domestic battery and second-degree battery, according to an arrest report.
Hessler said a judge found probable cause for two misdemeanor domestic-abuse battery claims.
“I believe that this is a kind of another redo of her allegations of last year,” Hessler said. “She accuses him of certain things, and like last time, she makes up allegations, doesn’t think them through. ... He intends to plead not guilty and fight the charges.”
A Public Integrity Bureau investigation that was opened last year in the wake of the attempted murder count was dropped after the criminal charge against Hurst was dismissed, according to NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble.