TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Police Department says a Clearwater firefighter is facing charges after his arrest early Tuesday morning for strangling and threatening to shoot a woman after a political argument.
According to an arrest affidavit, Christopher Maine, 41, and the victim were drinking when they got into the argument before 4 a.m. Maine became "enraged," grabbed the victim by the throat and forced her to the ground while restricting her airway, the affidavit says.
The victim was able to get free and Maine grabbed a handgun, pointed it at her and threatened to shoot, the affidavit says. The victim tried to call 911 using a landline but the affidavit says Maine came into the room grabbed the phone from her.
Maine then grabbed the victim and dragged her from the room as she tried to leave, according to the affidavit.
Police say the victim then tried to find her cellphone to call 911 but Maine took it and threw it.
The affidavit says Maine continued to hold the victim at gunpoint and threatened to shoot her.
A TPD officer arrived at the home and could hear Maine yelling at the victim to get against the wall, according to the affidavit.
The officer knocked on the front door and the victim came out and said Maine had a gun. While the victim and the officer stood in the doorway the affidavit says Maine continued to point the weapon at both of them.
The officer took the victim a distance away from the home then approached Maine and told him to surrender, police say.
Maine was taken into custody and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and tampering with a witness.
A current mugshot of Maine was not immediately available.
Clearwater Fire & Rescue says Maine is on unpaid administrative leave. He worked at the department since 2005, and as a lieutenant since 2016.
"We learned this morning of the allegations against one of our employees, and we are troubled by his arrest," said Fire Chief Scott Ehlers. "This is not the type of conduct we expect from those who serve our city. We are working to gain more information from the Tampa Police Department about the case."