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S.L. deputy on leave in abuse-report probe

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A Salt Lake County sheriff's deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave while Midvale police and prosecutors decide whether to file criminal charges against him.

Police went to deputy John A. Stowe's Midvale home after someone called 911 and hung up shortly after 1 a.m. Nov. 14, a police report states. Officers said that when they arrived, they saw Stowe come out of the house. One officer stayed outside and talked with Stowe, while another went inside and talked with the deputy's wife, Darcy Stowe, who was crying.The report, written by the officer who talked with Darcy Stowe, said she was sleeping when her husband came home intoxicated. The couple began arguing about a friend of Darcy Stowe's, the report said.

She said John Stowe tried to pull her sweatshirt off and then broke a necklace she was wearing. The charm on the necklace has two parts, the other half of which the friend they were arguing about was wearing, the report said.

Darcy Stowe said after breaking the necklace, he shoved it into her mouth. She tried to kick him to get away, but he grabbed her by the arm and twisted it behind her back, the report said.

She also told police he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the bed. Then he got on top of her and tried to choke her from behind, the report states. She told officers she got away and ran into the bathroom where she dialed 911.

Darcy Stowe said her husband noticed her on the phone, took it from her and hung up. Dispatchers called back to make sure everything was OK, and John Stowe told them the call was a mistake. Darcy Stowe was screaming for help in the background, according to the report.

She told police that after John Stowe got off the phone with dispatchers he threw the phone into a mirror, breaking it.

Darcy Stowe had a swollen leg and her arm and neck were sore. She was taken to a hospital and released the following day. She also told the officer who questioned her that on the Monday before the fight that brought police to their house, her husband came home drunk and threatened her with his department-issued handgun and then a shotgun.

She said she called his partner because she didn't know what else to do.

"She is very afraid of what will happen to John," the officer wrote in the report.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jim Potter said John Stowe, who's been with the department for 10 years, was working as a motorcycle officer before being placed on leave.

Potter said the department immediately initiated an internal investigation. As for the criminal aspect, Potter said department officials are leaving that up to Midvale officers and prosecutors.

"We asked Midvale to treat it just like they would any other case," Potter said. Midvale city prosecutors will likely review the case.

If John Stowe is convicted of any domestic violence charge, he could lose his job because of new federal laws forbidding anyone with a domestic abuse charge from owning or possessing a firearm.

"If a police officer is convicted of domestic violence, it's obviously very hard to retain them as officers, under the current federal laws," Potter said, emphasizing that John Stowe has not been charged with any crime.

John Stowe could not be reached for comment Friday morning.