ERWIN — State Rep. David Hawk pleaded not guilty to domestic assault charges placed against him following his Sunday arrest at his Greene County home after his wife reported to officials that Hawk grabbed and struck her during an altercation.
Hawk, 43, was arrested by officials with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. According to the affidavit of complaint filed in Greene County Sessions Court, the sheriff’s department was contacted in reference to a domestic assault report. The affidavit states Hawk committed the offense by striking, grabbing and knocking to the ground his wife, Crystal Hawk.
“The victim had bruising and swelling on and around her right eye, an abrasion (to) the upper and lower right side of her lip, and a large bruise on her left upper arm,” the affidavit states.
The affidavit also states Crystal Hawk told authorities that she was holding the couple’s 11-month-old daughter at the time of the assault.
Crystal Hawk is a Greeneville attorney and president of the Greene County Republican Women, according to the Associated Press.
An offense report taken by Greene County Sheriff’s Department officials states that Crystal Hawk “had obvious signs on her face and arms of an assault against her.” The report further states that Crystal Hawk told officials that she and her husband had been drinking Saturday evening and, at around 1 a.m. Sunday, David Hawk began looking through her cell phone and became angry.
“Throughout the course of the morning she stated they had been arguing,” the report states. “At around 8 a.m., she states he struck her in the face with his hand knocking her to the ground.”
According to the offense report, Crystal Hawk told authorities that after her husband struck her, he took the couple’s child and went to a neighbor’s residence. David Hawk was later found at his residence, where he was charged with domestic assault, according to the report.
David Hawk represents Greene County and, for the time being, Unicoi County in the Tennessee House of Representatives. When state redistricting takes effect, Hawk will no longer represent Unicoi County.
Unicoi County Administrator of Elections Sarah Bailey said redistricting will take effect in the August general election, when new district boundaries will apply to candidates seeking office. Hawk currently represents the state’s fifth district. Bailey said once redistricting takes effect, Unicoi County will be removed from this district.
According to an Associated Press report, Hawk previously had a protection order issued against him in 2005 by ex-wife Julia Hawk, who accused him of stalking her.
According to Greeneville Sun stories at the time, the couple was involved in a child custody battle, and David Hawk told the paper the allegations were “an obvious attempt to harm me both personally and politically,” according to the Associated Press report.
This order was dismissed at the request of Julia Hawk on the same day the couple came to an agreement over custody, according to the Associated Press.
David Hawk was released on a $500 bond following Monday’s hearing in Greene County Sessions Court. He was ordered by Greene County Sessions Court Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr. to have no contact with his wife and was granted supervised visits with his child.
Hawk returned to the state Legislature after his release. He attended the Monday evening floor session, accepting handshakes and well wishes from fellow lawmakers at his desk
Following the hearing, Hawk gave the Greeneville Sun a statement which said “I am innocent and did not do what has been alleged against me. I did not harm my wife.”
According to the Associated Press, Hawk later told a local TV station: “Yesterday, my wife had a gun and told me she was going to put a bullet in my head, while I was holding my baby. At that time, I escaped to safety with my daughter.”
Hawk is scheduled to appear back in Greene County Sessions Court on May 21.
According to the Associated Press, Bailey, who is familiar with both David and Crystal Hawk, will recuse himself from the case and ask the state Administrative Office of the Courts to appoint a special judge to hear the case.
Neither Hawk nor his attorney could not be reached Monday by the Johnson City Press for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.