A Jefferson County man was arrested June 23 after a fight with the woman left them both bruised.
According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office report, law enforcement did not originally consider arresting Bruce Squires, 53, for felony battery. The deputies began by talking to both parties and recommended one of them leave the house for the night. When both Squires and the victim refused, the deputies called Jefferson County Prosecutor Paul Butikofer who told them the evidence was strong enough to arrest Butikofer for felony battery.
An Idaho Supreme Court ruling last month found that law enforcement cannot make misdemeanor arrests unless they have a warrant or they witness the crime themselves. Arrests are still allowed without a warrant if law enforcement have probable cause to believe the crime is a felony.
The ruling raised concerns among domestic abuse advocates that law enforcement will be unable to stop abuse if they cannot remove suspected abusers from the home.
Squires told law enforcement he was lying in bed when the victim began hitting him in the arms, legs and stomach, pushing him out of the bed. He said the victim told him to sleep in a different room. Squires showed a deputy he had multiple bruises, which the deputy photographed.
The deputy asked Squires if he had a place to sleep for the night. Squires said he did not. Squires said he did not want the victim to go to jail for hitting him. The deputy informed him about the supreme court ruling.
The victim told another deputy Squires had been manhandling her all day. Both deputies observed a dark bruise on her arm and photographed it.
Squires and the victim both refused to sleep away from the house, and the deputies said they could not stay together, even in separate rooms. When a resolution could not be reached, the deputies called Butikofer.
Butikofer told law enforcement they could arrest Squires for felony battery because of the darker bruise on the victim.
“Bruce kept asking why he was the one being arrested,” the deputy wrote in his report. “I advised him it was because he left the more serious injury.”
Squires was charged with felony domestic battery, punishable with up to 10 years in prison. A no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday in Jefferson County Courthouse.