Traverse City Record-Eagle

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January 4, 2013

Suspended deputy could face another assault charge

TRAVERSE CITY — A Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputy who’s been accused of striking his girlfriend at a local tavern could face an additional criminal charge because he also had physical contact with a man during the same incident, newly released police reports show.

Ryan Salisbury, 35, faces domestic violence and disturbing the peace charges after a Dec. 6 incident at Union Street Station.

Police reports obtained Friday by the Record-Eagle through a state Freedom of Information Act request provide more details. The reports state Salisbury walked into the bar that night at 11:15 p.m. to speak with his girlfriend, who sat near another man.

Salisbury directed profanities at the woman, then said, “What are you doing?” and hit her “with a elbow strike to the neck area, which caused her head to jerk backwards,” an officer wrote in a probable cause arrest form.

Police said Salisbury confronted another man nearby and witnesses “observed him strike (the man) in the shoulder.”

Salisbury then made “a punching motion” towards the woman, but “witnesses could not say for sure whether he had made contact with her face.”

Salisbury denied wrongdoing.

“Salisbury denied any assaultive behavior during this incident,” the reports state. “Salisbury indicated he was mad when he saw (a man) sitting next to his girlfriend at the bar. Salisbury did approach (the man) and advised him to ‘stop calling her’ and then left.”

Witnesses said the incident unfolded in about 30 seconds. An officer who talked to Salisbury that night said it “did not sound as if Salisbury was intoxicated, and he (Salisbury) could not believe that someone was accusing him of assault.”

Police did not observe any visible signs of injury on the female victim.

Special Prosecutor Charles Koop of Antrim County said he may file at least one more criminal charge because of the contact made with the man who sat next to Salisbury’s girlfriend.

“I’m waiting for some supplemental reports concerning some statements that were made,” Koop said. “I think he’ll be charged as to the assault of the other person.”

Salisbury pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges. He is currently on administrative leave with pay.

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