LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville Metro Police Department sergeant has been charged with assault, and the woman he's accused of sending to the hospital is sharing her story.
Deborah Smith said she wanted to speak openly about the incident in hopes that other domestic violence victims are encouraged to come forward. She said her children heard the struggle Monday afternoon, police were called, and Sgt. Greg Burnette was charged and booked.
Smith said she was advised to file an emergency protective order, which she did, and she also claims she and Burnette -- who dated back in high school -- have been together for three years. Smith said there were never any problems until he recently started abusing alcohol.
"He came in and was just really mad, throwing stuff and slamming doors," she said of Monday's incident, adding that she was resting inside her Highview home following recent neck surgery when she claims her Burnette got violent.
"He grabbed me by my neck brace and pulled me down on the bed and held my face down on the bed," she said of the 46-year-old 7th Division sergeant. "So much so that I had Petechia in my eyes and throat from him strangling me."
Smith showed WAVE 3 News several bruises that she said came after Burnette became enraged.
"He told me he wasn't going to let me up until I talked to him," she recalled, "and finally I said, 'Yes, yes, yes, OK.'" Her children heard the commotion and police were called. The officer was charged and Smith was back in the hospital. She filed an emergency protective order because she claimed Burnette also got violent a couple of weeks ago. She said after her surgery, he came into her hospital room intoxicated and punched her in the face. She claims she kept quiet, blaming the alcohol, but now says enough is enough.
Smith said Burnette went on paid administrative leave last fall to deal with alcohol issues. LMPD confirms he was on paid administrative leave before
this incident. but wouldn't say why.
Burnette's attorney, Steve Schroering, told WAVE 3 News he can only say his client maintains his innocence, is a respected officer of 26 years and is out on bond. Smith said that scares her.
"I'm terrified now because I've got to get out of this house one way or another, and I've got to find me and my girls a place to stay," she said.
WAVE 3 News wanted to hear Burnette's side of the story, but Schroering said he's just getting the case and his client will be arraigned Thursday.
LMPD could only say that the Public Integrity Unit is investigating.