by David Mendez
A few weeks ago, we obtained the Tucson Police Department investigation file for Feb. 24 — the day that Daniel Patterson and Georgette Escobar were witnessed having a "domestic dispute" at Escobar's home.
With all that's going on today regarding Patterson's hearing with the Ethics committee (Rep. McCune Davis quoted from the report), now seems like a good time to get out the information of what reportedly happened that day.
The report begins with a he-said-she-said: Patterson claimed that Escobar hit him over the head and neck "approximately twenty times," (during his 911 call to the police, he claimed she hit him around 50 times,) though he reported "no injury." Escobar told the reporting officer that she was trying to leave the house when Patterson stopped her and "physically removed her from her vehicle" a claim substantiated by employees of the Parks department who witnessed the incident. Escobar also told police that Patterson had taken her service dog, Jake.
Patterson retreated to his property with Jake in tow, choosing to speak to police over a seven-foot block wall. It was reported that police were only able to see the top of Patterson's face, and "unable to see if there were any visible injuries."
Later that evening, police went back to Escobar's home to serve an Order of Protection to Patterson; he wasn't there. At that point, Escobar told police that she had a bruises on her right leg and left arm, as a result of being pulled from the her car, she indicated in a March 1 interview with TPD.
Police interviews of the Parks employees revealed that on Feb. 24, Patterson had opened up the back door to Escobar's SUV to pull Escobar's dog out. Then, confirmed by both the Parks employees as well as Escobar, Escobar approached Patterson to stop him — and was backhanded "hard enough to knock [her] to the ground.
The Parks employees said that she then got up, screaming for someone to call 911 and began "slapping at" Patterson, who was still trying to get the dog out of the car. After he got the dog, he put it in the yard and came back to the scene, telling the employees "'I don't want any problems,' and that [Escobar] had hit him."
The Parks employees were then told by Escobar that "[Patterson] had taken away her medication from her," and her dog was trained as a therapy dog for her.
On Feb. 28, TPD was able to make contact with Escobar at a friend's house. She declined opening the door, and appeared "anxious and nervous," claiming that "her life had been threatened and that she was being 'stalked.'" She said she didn't want to pursue the case any longer, that local police haven't helped her and cannot protect her, and said "he (Patterson) is going to kill me."
On Feb. 29, police attempted to call Patterson, who did not respond.
Later that day, they went back to Escobar's friend's house, where they spoke with the homeowner. She said that Escobar had been staying with her since February 24, that Escobar left the night prior and that she didn't know where she was.
She also said that while Escobar was staying with her, she expressed being concerned for her safety, and was very afraid of Patterson; Patterson had apparently called both Escobar and the friend, trying to reconcile — in particular, calling the friend to ask for her help in reconciliation.
Escobar's friend then told TPD that one of Escobar's primary concerns was to get her dog, Jake, back from Patterson — he had apparently promised to give her Jake on February 27, but had not yet.
After a conversation with Pima Animal Care, TPD learned that an order of protection stated that Patterson was to have "no contact" with Escobar's dog and that "for constructive legal purposes, the dog belongs to Georgette." PAC stated that, upon contacting Patterson, he said that he would not give the dog to either PAC or Escobar because he was concerned for the animal's safety" — despite there being no reason to indicate the dog would be in any danger.
On March 1, TPD received a phone call from Escobar, who said that she was very afraid for her life, that Patterson has been verbally abusive toward her and has tried to control her. She was adamant in her sole ownership of the dog, then gave her account of what happened on February 24.
She said that Patterson pulled her by force out of her car by force, bruising her arm, and that Patterson had taken the dog by force, choking it to gain its compliance. When she tried to stop him, Patterson backhanded her, took the dog into his yard and locked the gate.
As of the report's completion, March 2, Patterson had not responded to TPD attempts to contact him.
A few postscripts: A records request to PAC, filed on April 9, indicates that this case was still open, indicating that Patterson still has Escobar's dog — property that he forcefully (and apparently violently) took from its owner.
Also of note is the fact that, throughout the entirety of the report, the only names redacted are those of Patterson's daughter with ex-wife Jeneine Schaffer, and Patterson's himself.