Girlfriend of state trooper arrested earlier this month now faces charges as well

Published on Wednesday, 14 October 2020 11:48
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI

@MUSZYNSKIBP

SOUTHINGTON -- The girlfriend of a Connecticut State Trooper, who was arrested by Southington police earlier this month, now faces charges as well.

Police on Wednesday said Mariah Harper, 41, turned herself in Tuesday on one count of second-degree breach of peace. She was released without having to post bond and was expected to be arraigned in New Britain Superior Court Wednesday.

Harper is the girlfriend of Christopher Russell, 46, a state trooper who faces charges of third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, third-degree criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

According to the police report in Russell’s arrest, he and Harper argued at a home on Rethal Street on Oct. 3 after separately leaving a wedding they attended together. Police said the woman’s teenage daughter was home during the incident.

Police wrote in the report that Harper told them Russell ripped a mirror off the wall, breaking it, and that she tried to stop him. In the report, police said she acknowledged the two had “fought” and that she had gotten hit in the face, adding that she wasn’t sure how she was struck.

Harper also said she injured her finger and felt pain in her left arm, which was bruised. Police noticed what appeared to be blood on her sleeve, which she could not explain, swelling around her eye, swelling around her knuckles, a bruise on one of her fingers and redness and bruising on her arm, the report said.

Harper told police Russell had her up against a wall at one point and, when asked if she was choked, nodded her head yes, according to the report. She did not report any issue breathing or loss of consciousness.

The day after the arrest, Russell’s girlfriend contacted police and said she had more information, conceding that police may have to arrest her, according to the report. She admitted to punching him in the face upon returning home from the wedding, the report said.

Russell then grabbed the mirror and a tussle ensued, after which the woman said she again punched his face, the report said. She said Russell later put his forearm against her upper chest, but she believed it was in self-defense because she came at him aggressively, according to the report.

Police noted in the report that they would be seeking a warrant for Harper’s arrest.

Russell, who has been a state police trooper since 2008, had his department issued firearms, police cruiser, badge and identification seized, and he voluntarily surrendered his personal firearm and some ammunition. State police said his police powers have been suspended while an internal affairs investigation is completed.

Russell’s case is still pending.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Wednesday, 14 October 2020 11:48. Updated: Wednesday, 14 October 2020 11:50.