The attorney for a Knoxville Police Department officer charged with domestic assault disavowed Tuesday any notion of gunplay on the part of his client in the incident.
KPD Officer Brian Foulks, 33, was arrested early Tuesday morning and
jailed under traditional 12-hour "cool down" hold placed in cases of
alleged domestic violence after an incident at the home of his estranged
In a report on the incident, his estranged wife, Donna Foulks, told
Knox County Sheriff's Office deputies that after a verbal altercation
between the two at her Macmont Circle residence, he broke the screen on
her laptop computer and grabbed a .38-caliber revolver from a dresser
drawer and went into the bathroom with it.
"(She) said she thought she heard (him) unloading it in the bathroom
before she ran out," the report states. As she was walking down the
road, he followed her in his truck.
"(She) said (he) told her the gun was in the truck, but never pointed
it in her direction nor said he would use it," the report states.
Attorney T. Scott Jones, who represents Officer Foulks, said his
client came to the home he once shared with his 32-year-old estranged
wife unarmed and in his private vehicle. He conceded the two argued but
said Officer Foulks merely unloaded and disabled the gun to avoid any
escalation of an already tense situation and in no way used the weapon
as a threat.
"The gun was already there on a dresser," Jones said. "Once tensions
escalated between he and his wife, he located the firearm, unloaded it
and rendered it inoperable."
Jones said his client returned the unloaded gun to the dresser, where
deputies later found it. The pair eventually wound up outside, where
the argument resumed, the report stated.
Donna Foulks told deputies her husband later followed her back inside
the house and, after yet another argument, broke her cellphone, knocked
items off the kitchen counter and kicked a wooden dining room chair.
Donna Foulks ran to a neighbor's house and called deputies.
Jones said the incident spanned hours, and the arguments between the
pair were intermittent. The couple separated in December. Officer
Foulks, 33, filed for divorce last month but went to the couple's home
in hopes of resolving their marital discord, Jones said.
According to Jones, Officer Foulks has been struggling with the
stress of being a full-time student at Liberty University and working
overtime at KPD to earn extra money.
"Officer Foulks knows there is no excuse for domestic violence,"
Jones said. "He's going to get counseling related to this unfortunate
incident and to deal with the stress he has been under."
KPD has suspended Foulks' police powers and reassigned him to
administrative duties pending an investigation by the internal affairs
unit. He has been with KPD since 2006 and was the school resource
officer for Central High School.
He is set to be arraigned May 15.