Clay Co. sheriff’s deputy says he was arrested for attempted assault because of his job

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Clay County sheriff's deputy was arrested, charged with attempted assault, and put on administrative leave with pay following an argument with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Kansas City, Mo., police arrested Deputy Thomas Morrison, 33, at his home last Friday night.

Court documents show he is now charged with attempted assault, explained as he “did intentionally cause an unlawful, offensive contact” upon her by “pushing her in the chest with an open hand causing discomfort.”

Court records show his wife filed for divorce last September, but it has not been finalized yet.

When FOX 4 asked Morrison about the allegations and if they were true, he said, “No, it was an arm thing to the chest because we’re going through a divorce, is all it was.”

When asked if it was a heated argument, Morrison said, “That’s all it was. It has been for like eight months now.”

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Morrison’s administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation by its Professional Standards Unit.

According to Morrison, it was a misunderstanding and he feels KCPD only arrested him because he is a deputy.

“I guess come to find out, she (his wife) told Kansas City not to arrest me, and they did anyhow because of what I do for a living.”

According to the National Center for Women and Policing, family violence is two to four times higher in the law enforcement community than in the general public. It’s a statistic that last year prompted KCPD Chief Darryl Forte to write a blog post about domestic violence in police families, and then require all his officers to take a domestic violence prevention training course.

“Sometimes the nature of the work that an individual does, an abuser does, can be a factor if it is an exposure to a lot of violence in the work that they do,” said Vicki Kraft, president and CEO of Newhouse, a domestic abuse shelter in Kansas City.

Kraft said anyone can be a victim, and a woman is most vulnerable to abuse when she tries to leave.

“It starts as verbal abuse and then escalates to very controlling behaviors, and then it might escalate to violence,” she explained.

But Kraft said there’s one thing all those women should know: “She’s not alone. There are other women that are in that situation and it isn’t her fault.”

Morrison was supposed to be in court Monday morning, but his case was continued until May 12. If convicted, he could face up to 180 days in jail or have to pay a fine.

FOX 4 went to Morrison’s wife's residence on Monday afternoon, where the woman’s sister said they have no comment.

For more information on domestic violence prevention and resources, click here.