Already on paid administrative leave since September from a previous arrest, a Tennessee cop was arrested again Wednesday, this time accused of striking his mother-in-law with an open hand across the face.
Chattanooga police detective David Catchings figured he would have gotten away with it because of his badge.
“Go ahead, call the cops. They will believe me before you, because I’m a cop,” his mother-in-law accused him of saying after striking her.
She called the cops anyway, landing the 34-year-old cop back in jail. But this time, he was smiling for his mugshot.
Catchings, who is married, was arrested in September for DUI along with his girlfriend after he was spotted weaving in and out of traffic as well as driving into oncoming traffic.
He tried to use his cop status to get out of the arrest, but the Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy took him to jail anyway.
Catchings attempted to get out of the arrest and charges by using his status as an officer.
“It should be noted during that during this entire incident, [his] mood changed from compliant to hostile,” the affidavit read. “He advised several times that he was a cop and asked to try and work things out.”
Catchings refused to give his phone number to the officer on the scene or the jail, and he also refused to submit a blood test to determine his blood alcohol content.
“He advised we were brothers and I should be arresting bad guys,” the police officer present wrote in the affidavit. “He stated his aunt signs my paycheck and advised I was a rookie and didn’t know anything about police work.”
He’s been on paid administrative leave ever since, collecting his $42,000-a-year salary while he continues to drink.
On Wednesday, he was out on another bender when he walked into his mother-in-law’s house and passed out on the couch, then refused to leave when ordered to do so.
David Catchings, 34, has been charged with domestic assault after allegedly striking his mother-in-law in the face. Catchings is already under investigation and on paid administrative leave from the police department after he was arrested in September on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Catchings’ mother-in-law, Janet Ashford, told police that she woke up to find Catchings drunk on her couch around 3 a.m. When she told him to leave, she said, Catchings struck her with an open hand across her face.
Catchings called her a liar when she threatened to call police and said, ‘Go ahead, call the cops. They will believe me before you, because I’m a cop.”
Ashford said she considered not calling because she was worried nothing would happen to Catchings because he is a police officer. She said she’s terrified of Catchings. Eventually, though, she did call for help.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office arrested Catchings because Ashford’s home is outside the city limits.
Police Chief Fred Fletcher assured that he will be thoroughly investigated by internal affairs, even though the previous internal affairs investigation is still pending.