Updated 04/30/2012 05:45 PM
Rochester City Councilwoman Assaulted by Husband
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"It’s a very quiet neighborhood; this is normal, very quiet,” said Kathleen Laney.
Laney said the scene on her Berwick Road cul-de-sac was much different Friday afternoon. She said police cars and an ambulance were in front of her next door neighbors' home with lights flashing.
"Eventually, they brought Tim out with cuffs behind his back and like a denim jacket over his shoulders so you couldn't see too much."
Timothy Scott is the husband of Rochester City Councilwoman Loretta Scott. Police charged the 52-year-old with assault, criminal obstruction of breathing, and menacing.
"If we can determine who the aggressor is, we will make an arrest, and in instances where there has been a physical confrontation, once the arrest is made, we expect the victim to follow up and go through the system in terms of applying for a warrant or prosecuting the case, assisting with that prosecution,” said Chief James Sheppard of the Rochester Police Department.
Sheppard says it's Scott's desire to handle this matter privately with her family.
According to court papers, Councilwoman Scott and her husband got into an argument over a phone message. Timothy Scott allegedly pushed Loretta against a sliding glass door in the kitchen and onto the floor, then threatened her with a butcher knife.
In a statement to police, the councilwoman said:
"He was on top of me with a butcher knife...telling me that he was going to kill me...He never tried to stab me with it, but he cut my left hand and right shoulder."
Loretta Scott told police that once her husband got off of her and put the butcher knife down, she came outside, but only got as far as the front step. She said Timothy pushed her down, put his hands around her neck and started choking her, then took the garden hose with the water turned on and put it in her mouth. She said she started choking and had a difficult time breathing.
"It’s really, really sad to hear something like that,” said Laney.
Laney said it was also surprising. She described the Scott's as very nice, quiet, and friendly neighbors.
"Especially Tim, Tim is super friendly. He’ll be out workin' in the garage and always wave 'hi'. Or, I see him sometimes when we’re driving our cars, and he’ll always wave and stuff: very, very nice people."
"That’s one of the things that makes it so insidious,” said Cathy Mazzotta, executive director for Alternatives for Battered Women. “People will say, 'Oh she seems to be in control, she has a great career, she has family, but behind closed doors it can be very, very different and what a perpetrator does behind closed doors and the message they send which is, 'you can’t let anyone know what’s happening here because if you think this is bad, I can make it a lot worse.'"
Mazzotta said the allegations in Scott's case show the complex nature of domestic abuse. Mazzotta said it's important people don't judge victims and reach out privately to show support, especially after a victim takes the first, very difficult step of coming forward.
"I just hope that she gets the support that she needs to get through this,” said Laney.