Police: Catawba innkeeper holds gun to girlfriend's head

The owner of the Catawba Inn was arrested Tuesday after allegedly placing a loaded handgun to his girlfriend's head and threatening to shoot her.
Emil Whitis
Sep 23, 2012

 

The owner of the Catawba Inn was arrested Tuesday after allegedly placing a loaded handgun to his girlfriend's head and threatening to shoot her.

When his fiancee refused to return an engagement ring, Chris Thompson, 43, put the 9mm handgun to her temple, cocked the hammer and threatened to pull the trigger, a Catawba Township police report said.

He was charged with felony assault and domestic violence.

The victim, 36-year-old Sara Rivera, called 911 at about 3:30 a.m. and told dispatchers she was being threatened with a gun, the report said.

Police and Ottawa County deputies raced to the 800 block of Cedar Drive, arriving to spot movement in a bedroom at the home. They rushed in and immediately arrested Thompson, who smelled like alcohol, the report said.

Rivera was hysterical.

"She reported that Mr. Thompson had pulled a silver handgun and placed it to the side of her head," the report said. "He stated he was going to kill her."

As Thompson pushed the gun's muzzle against Rivera's head, she heard a click, she told police.

She initially suspected Thompson had pulled the trigger, the report said.

Officers soon found the handgun stuffed between the headboard and mattress of a bed. It was loaded with five rounds, one chambered.

The hammer was cocked.

"I further informed her that the sounds of pulling the hammer back on the gun could easily be confused with the dry firing if the gun was placed against her head," an officer's report said. "Ms. Rivera became upset when I explained to her the condition of the gun and that only a slight trigger pull would have fired the gun in a single action."

Rivera told officers she and Thompson had been fighting over a period of days. At some point, she made up her mind to move out, and when Thompson caught wind of the plan he demanded the engagement ring back, the report said.

She refused to return the ring until she could get all her things out of the house. When she got home Tuesday night, Thompson started to get "aggressive," Rivera told police.

"She explained that he would be nice in an attempt to get close to her and then try to take the ring from her finger in a forceful manner," the report said. "During this time, she reported that Mr. Thompson struck her in the back of the head several times."

Thompson then went for his pistol, the report said.

"Thompson stated that he had killed people before and would kill her," the report said. "(He) then obtained his handgun from under the bed and put it to the side of her head."

Rivera eventually managed to break free and escape into the bathroom, where she locked the door and called 911. While she was on the phone with a dispatcher, Thompson kicked in the door, the report said.

Moments later, police rushed into the home and arrested him.

For his part, Thompson said he never pulled the gun -- he told police "it was not that big of a deal."

"(He) requested that the two just be separated for the night," the report said.

Deputies took Thompson to the Ottawa County jail. He was released the following morning after posting $3,430 bond.

"(Rivera) ... was concerned for her safety upon Mr. Thompson's release and that he would have friends harass her as well," the report said.

Police told her how to get a protection order.

Comments

SamAdams

Protection order? Yeah, THAT'LL work...

A piece of paper is a very nice bit of evidence should matters escalate to the point where it ends up in court. Unfortunately, a piece of paper isn't bullet proof. If somebody decides to break the law by assaulting somebody else (or worse), chances are pretty good that one MORE law isn't going to stop them.

It does sound like Ms. Rivera needs protection. If I were her, I'd have a gun of my own handy from  now on. If Mr. Thompson doesn't violate the protection order, she'll never had the need to use it. But if he DOES, it may be her last chance to save her own life.

How sad that a man who once loved a woman enough to give her an engagement ring has now apparently twisted that emotion into violence. Good luck to Ms. Rivera. Stay safe, WHATEVER it takes. Meanwhile, that Thompson is already out and about on what seems to me to be a VERY low bond amount doesn't bode well for Rivera's peace of mind, I'll bet!

Mum-of-One

Mr. Thompson is yet another fine example of somebody who should never be able to possess a gun.  He was drunk.  I'm just saying, that makes him untrustworthy.  He could easily have decided to pull that trigger and kill his wife to be, it is just luck that he didn't.  I feel a whole lot safer now that she knows how to get a protection order.  Hopefully when they give him his gun back the protection order will step in and save her the next time it happens.

iamrevolutionary

 @SamAdams;

Agree  100% !  What worries me more is that he says he has killed before! WTH?! 

I hope SPD is actively looking into this admission....

BabyCakes

@iamrevolutionary: I doubt that SPD will be looking into anything considering that this happened in Ottawa County...

Unassumer

If he will kick in the bathroom door and put a gun to her head and threaten her, a protection order is pretty much no protection.  This guy has a problem and it's way bigger than his ego.  What a jerk.  Just like many in and around Catawba.  Think they are all powerful, rich and can do whatever they want.  He's probably a jerk to work for too.  What I hope she will do is move far far away and never have contact with him again.

Unassumer

If he will kick in the bathroom door and put a gun to her head and threaten her, a protection order is pretty much no protection.  This guy has a problem and it's way bigger than his ego.  What a jerk.  Just like many in and around Catawba.  Think they are all powerful, rich and can do whatever they want.  He's probably a jerk to work for too.  What I hope she will do is move far far away and never have contact with him again.

The Answer Person

OK...here we go...hire a mover...give the dumb ring back (which she was using as extortion leverage)...Judge Judy would tell her to return it and move on.

I am sure that this babe is not without sin in this situation folks. 

It takes TWO! 

No one ever seems to address the fact that these babes can drive people to this point of craziness.

Users.

Julie R.

How do women get mixed-up with these half-witted lunatics, anyway?

DickTracey

 The Catawba Inn is a bar and restaurant, so Chris is NOT an innkeeper, DUH!

He is however, rude, arrogant and very cocky, so this comes as no surprise.

wiredmama222

Is a stone worth your life, lady? I don't think so. Give him back the ring, get your things and go. Not that this will stop him. Make sure he doesn't know WHERE you are going. Ever the ORDER OF PROTECTION isn't going to stop this nut case. Only you being secretive about where you live will. Don't call him, tell his friends or let anyone know where you are going when you leave. That is the only way to get out of his clutches. Best of luck. Who needs this kind of man when there are others out there who would treat you much better than this guy?

Unassumer

Sure, women can drive men crazy and vice versa. Still, holding a gun to someone's head shows what kind of person he really is (and that is one to get away from fast). I would have thrown the ring at him, called the cops and moved right then but under the circumstances, she chose to hold the ring until she got all her stuff out. That's not extortion, it's collateral. Of course, she really should never have taken a ring from him because more than likely she knew deep down what an absolute jerk he was from the beginning.

SamAdams

In repeated court cases, the rulings have almost universally found that an engagement ring is a gift, and thus the property of she who received it whether the engagement is later broken or not. As far as I'm concerned, she should keep the ring long enough to sell it, and use the proceeds to move (preferably far, FAR away from the lunatic she almost married).

She may very well have been (and still be) willing to give it back. Okay, fine. But given Thompson's actions, I don't believe for a minute that that will really matter. It may have been HER collateral for her belongings, but HE'S trying to use it as an EXCUSE for the inexcusable!

rickross2

Isnt this place called FOOD BEER? Thats the only thing I've ever called it. The owner is a richard head too.

DickTracey

@rickross2 Yes, it does say FOOD BEER on the building, and yes, some may call him my first name. As I voiced in my previous comment. So he showed his true colors the other night...again.