Seekonk police officer charged with assault, strangulation

SE Mass

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Seekonk police arraigned Monday morning on several domestic violence charges is accused of strangling his then-girlfriend on several occasions and pointing an unloaded gun at her head and pulling the trigger.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Gary Rushing, 38, is charged with assault and battery with serious bodily injury; strangulation or suffocation; and assault and battery on a family or household member.

As Eyewitness News was first to report, Rushing was arraigned Monday morning. He was released on personal recognizance and ordered to have no contact with the victim and no possession of firearms.

According to the arrest report, Rushing and his accuser – a civilian dispatcher with the Seekonk Police Department – dated for about a year before the relationship ended in late 2017.

The report outlined an incident from December 2016. Police said the victim told them “Rushing placed a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. She stated she did not know the gun was empty of ammunition and the pulling of the trigger caused her extreme anxiety and fear.”

According to the report, the victim told police she had expressed thoughts of suicide and Rushing put the gun to her head and told her to commit suicide. She asked him to pull the trigger telling police she did not think he would. 

Later in the report, the victim told officers about other attacks on several occasions over about a year and a half’s time.

She said on numerous occasions when she would visit Rushing at his then-home in Attleboro “Rushing would strangle her (which throughout the interview she would refer to the act as choking) her into unconsciousness.”

Seekonk Police Chief Craig A. Mace said he learned Friday Rushing was potentially involved in “past domestic violence incidents” and immediately contacted the District Attorney’s Office and Massachusetts State Police.

Mace said State Police detectives investigated and arrested Rushing Friday night.

“As always, we hold our officers to high standards and will conduct a full and thorough internal affairs investigation,” Mace said in a statement Monday afternoon. “The officer will be on administrative leave pending conclusion of the internal affairs investigation.”

Rushing’s attorney, Peter Pasciucco, sent Eyewitness News the following statement:

Officer Rushing is a decorated military veteran and a well-respected member of the Seekonk Police Department. He looks forward to defending himself against these false allegations and clearing his name.”

Eyewitness News will continue to update this story throughout the day on WPRI.com and on Eyewitness News starting live at 5.

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