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Posted: June 12, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Woman plays victim — arrested as aggressor

Suspect used pepper spray, gun

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Hailey

A woman crying in the street was arrested after officers learned that instead of being the victim of assault, she had been the aggressor in a domestic dispute involving pepper spray and a handgun.

Officers from the Covington Police Department were called to a home on Collins Street late Saturday evening and while in the vicinity, looking for the home, officers reportedly passed a woman walking around in a driveway. According to reports, the woman watched the patrol car pass and did not attempt to flag the officers down. Once they passed by the home, they noticed it was the residence they were looking for and backed up to the driveway and the woman in it.

By then, the woman wa walking in the yard near the stop sign at Wheat and Collins streets, and officers exited the patrol car and approached the woman, who was reportedly talking on the phone. She was asked if she had called for assistance, and she allegedly told them that she had not. Officers noted that she was visibly upset and crying, and that she had a strong odor of alcohol coming from her person.

Officers asked the woman, identified as 39-year-old Dorothy Mae Hailey, what had been going on at her residence that evening and she reportedly told them that she and her husband were both drinking beer and had gotten into an argument. She also told them, according to reports, that her husband sprayed her in the face with a container of pepper spray, although officers noted in their report that there was no evidence of her face having been sprayed by the irritant.

Hailey then allegedly told the officers that after being sprayed in the face she went to her husband’s truck and got his Walther P-22 handgun and went back inside the home where the fighting between her and her husband ensued and the gun went off. She reportedly told them that after the gun went off she ran out of the house.

Officers went to the back door of the residence and knocked. Hailey’s husband opened the door and when asked, exited the home to speak with officers about the night’s events. He allegedly told them that the two had been drinking and had gotten into a verbal altercation which is when his wife went into the bedroom and retrieved the pepper spray, brought it into the living room, and began spraying it wildly about the room.

He reportedly told the officers that Hailey ran from the home and then came back in with the gun he kept in his vehicle and was "talking and acting crazy." He allegedly told officers that because of her behavior he distracted her and then attempted to take the gun from his wife and, in the process, the gun went off, firing one round into the back door. She then ran from the home. He told officers he was unsure where she went when she left. He reportedly went back into the living room where the gun was and placed it under a couch cushion. When asked if he had sprayed the pepper spray on his wife, he reportedly told officers that the overspray mist had gotten all over everything.

According to reports, as they were processing the evidence, officers could smell pepper spray all over the living room, essentially verifying the husband’s version that particular event.

Dorothy Hailey was placed under arrest and transported to the Newton County Detention Center where she was charged with aggravated assault, discharge of a gun or pistol near a public highway or street and public drunkenness.

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