Police: Clearwater firefighter assaults woman after argument over politics, points gun at officer

Crime

A single pair of closed handcuffs against a plain white background.

TAMPA (WFLA) — Tampa police arrested a Clearwater firefighter after he allegedly choked a woman, threatened to shoot her, then held a gun up to a responding officer. He has since been placed on unpaid administrative leave by the fire department.

Police said Christopher Maine, a 41-year-old Clearwater firefighter, and the female victim were drinking and having an argument over politics that escalated early Tuesday morning at a home on Idlewild Avenue.

Maine allegedly grabbed the woman by her throat and forced her to the ground. She was able to break away from him, but police said Maine pointed a gun at her and threatened to shoot. The woman dialed 911 from a landline, but police said the suspect grabbed the phone from her.

The first Tampa officer to arrive said he could hear Maine yelling at the woman. When he knocked on the door, the victim exited and warned the officer about the gun.

The officer said Maine continued pointing the gun in the direction of the officer and the victim as they were in the doorway. The officer pulled the woman out of the way before approaching the man again, commanding him to surrender.

Maine eventually surrendered and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, domestic battery, false imprisonment, and tampering with a witness.

Clearwater Fire & Rescue placed him on unpaid administrative leave. He has no previous formal discipline with with the city.

A 2016 post from the department’s Facebook page shows Maine receiving an “Exceptional Service Award” for his firefighting duties.

They released this statement Tuesday morning:

“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.”

City of Clearwater

A mugshot was not available when this story was written.

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