Knox County officer accused of assault

Police powers suspended after alleged attack

By Don Jacobs
A Knox County sheriff's officer was stripped of his police powers, badge and gun after his arrest on a charge he assaulted his wife by choking her during a late-night fight at their Loudon County home.

David Siedler, 47, of Loudon was arrested about 12:40 a.m. Friday on a charge of domestic assault, according to records. He worked as a court officer.

"All of his police powers have been suspended," said Knox County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley. "They took away his badge and gun."

The KCSO Office of Professional Standards also has opened an investigation on the situation, she said.

Dooley said on the day of his arrest Siedler was placed on leave with pay. On Monday, however, he was reassigned to another unit.

"He's now working in teleserve and records until the disposition of his case," Dooley said. The teleserve unit takes crime reports by phone.

The charge, however, already has been decided, according to records.

The judicial commissioner who arraigned Siedler on Friday also opted to dismiss the charge on Oct. 13 if there are no further problems between Siedler and his wife.

Loudon County officers at 11:30 p.m. Thursday responded to a domestic violence call at the Siedler residence. Rebekah Siedler told officers that "her husband woke up in a rage" and as the argument progressed, "Mr. Siedler then placed his hands around her throat and began to choke her."

Red marks were visible on Rebekah Siedler's throat and arms, according to reports.

David Siedler told the officers his wife had pushed him out of bed.

Officers also spoke with David Siedler's daughter, who lives in the home.

"Due to Mrs. Siedler's injuries and the statements given, it was determined that Mr. Siedler was the primary aggressor," the police report states.

There were several firearms in the home, but the officers said they left the weapons because Rebekah Siedler said it was all right to leave the guns.

When David Siedler was arraigned Friday before Judicial Commissioner Cissy Chapman, the case also was resolved, and Siedler was released from jail without posting a bond.

"I set it out for six months for dismissal if there are no further problems," Chapman said.

Chapman said she was provided information that Rebekah Siedler was intoxicated during the alleged assault. Chapman said the domestic argument began when a former boyfriend of Rebekah Siedler called the residence about 11:30 p.m.

Chapman said David Siedler said "he was filing for divorce, that he was finished with it all." The commissioner also said David Siedler was moving out of the couple's home. David Siedler is to have no contact with his wife.

Chapman responded, "definitely not" when asked if Siedler was given special treatment because he is a police officer.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney General Russell Johnson said he was unaware of the case and that his office had no input on Chapman's ruling.

"On the lower-level misdemeanors, the judicial commissioners do have the authority under the statute to handle those," Johnson said.

"It's unusual to me that she would handle it that quickly," Johnson said. Such decisions usually are made at a preliminary hearing when more information is available about the incident, he said.

Rebekah Siedler could not be reached for comment.