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Judge: Durham officer accused of assaulting wife has pattern of violence

Posted January 15, 2015

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— A Durham police officer accused of assaulting his wife has a pattern of violence against her, according to a judge in court documents obtained Thursday by WRAL News.

Cpl. James John Cartwright, 41, of Knightdale, faces misdemeanor charges of assault on a female and interfering with emergency communications after he allegedly hit Amanda Cartwright in the mouth while in their car on Interstate 440 in Wake County Tuesday night.

Court documents show that Amanda Cartwright filed for a domestic violence protective order on Wednesday, saying her husband has a bad temper and has previously hit her in front of their 3- and 6-year-old sons.

Citing two other instances of alleged abuse, District Judge Ned Mangum wrote in the protective order that Tuesday's case "is part of a pattern of physically violent behavior" and that "the defendant is verbally abusive on a regular basis."

Records also show that authorities responded to the couple's home once in July 2012, when Amanda Cartwright called 911, alleging that she was assaulted and was worried about what would happen if her husband returned home.

According to a recording released Thursday, she called 911 Tuesday night saying they were returning home from a hockey game when he hit her.

She had called several times but kept getting disconnected.

"She keeps calling us. We got like five phone calls from her," the 911 dispatcher tells deputies responding to the call. "She's also saying her husband, or the male, works for the police, so use caution."

Cartwright, a patrol officer who has been with the Durham Police Department since 1998, was out of jail Wednesday on a $500 bond and is on paid administrative leave from the department.

His wife declined to comment Thursday, and Cartwright could not be reached for comment.

23 Comments

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  • Wheelman Jan 16, 2015

    People who have a pattern of violence should not be in law enforcement.

  • 678devilish Jan 16, 2015

    A pattern of violence? Why is he still a cop?

  • customfleet Jan 16, 2015

    How can this person work a domestic violence call with professionalism when he is also guilty of the crime, I think they should relieve him of all duties in law enforcement.

  • HGA_Matt Jan 16, 2015

    I had a friend who missed a court date by 20 minutes for a moving violation and his bail was in excess of $2000. That domestic abuse is only $500 is a shame. I bet a misdemenor possession charge carries a higher bail than that.

  • stymieindurham Jan 16, 2015

    so true! i saw a cop the other day standing in front of me and he kept whispering to me, "you can't see me, you can't see me. I'm invisible"
    ===============================================
    Haaaaaa. The funny and odd part here is NOT the officer but, YOU. You must have believed him. You're repeating it as fact. Haaa.

  • ASU Jan 16, 2015

    Administrative leave doesn't mean he stays home. It means he comes to work just not working as a police officer.

  • Tom Smith Jan 16, 2015
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    correct! magistrates are required to put a 48hr hold on some one. judges can lift that, which they do all of the time. so if you get arrested on a friday afternoon for a DV charge, expect to stay in jail until monday morning at the least. no one with the power to release you is working

  • Tom Smith Jan 16, 2015
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    with a 50b order against him, he is as good as fired. got a shiny nickel says he resigns by the end of the month.

  • Tom Smith Jan 16, 2015
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    i think the point he is trying to make is that this happenes dozens of times each day involving everyone from doctors and lawyers to ditch diggers and it doesn't make the news. but because it is a cop, it's all over the front page. that being said...
    you are also correct in that this particular cop did indeed (allegedly) ruin his family life through his actions. you both have fair points and are really just arguing semantics

  • Tom Smith Jan 16, 2015
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    so true! i saw a cop the other day standing in front of me and he kept whispering to me, "you can't see me, you can't see me. I'm invisible"

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