NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

August 21, 2013

After messy marsh chase, police want fugitive to pay for ruined uniform

BY ANGELJEAN CHIARAMIDA
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALISBURY — A Connecticut woman facing domestic abuse charges may not only have to pay for her allegedly violent acts if found guilty, but also for the cost of a new police uniform, ruined after an officer had to chase her through the salt marsh to arrest her.

At 1:22 a.m. on Friday, Crystal Butler, 22, of 53 Shetucket St., Taftville, Conn., was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest and assault and battery on a pregnant woman.

Salisbury police Chief Tom Fowler said yesterday that according to officer Michael Tullercash’s report, Butler and her victim met in a correctional facility. Upon release, they became a couple and have been together for the past few months.

Butler and her partner, the victim, were in Salisbury when a dispute got physical last Friday and police were called. According to the report, Butler knew the victim was pregnant.

“According to the report, (Butler) hit the victim over the head with a beer bottle, then took off in the car,” Fowler said.

Tullercash found Butler driving on Lynne Avenue, a small road off Beach Road and tried to pull her over, Fowler said. Bulter stopped, but jumped out of the car and ran into the salt marsh, Fowler said.

“And officer Tullercash gave chase through the salt marsh,” Fowler said. “Police from Seabrook, Newburyport and Amesbury assisted us. She was tracked down with the help of Amesbury Officer Thomas Nichols and his K-9.”

But not before Tullercash’s was caked with salt marsh mud for his efforts. And the stains and smell have proven very difficult to wash off completely, Fowler said.

“It just ruined the uniform,” Fowler said. “He tried to hose it off when he got back, but it’s a mess. I just finished writing a letter to the court asking for $319 in restitution for this woman to pay for the cost of a new uniform and the officer’s gun belt, which was also ruined.”