Monday mornings are typically quiet in Luther. The cafe is open for the regulars including a group sharing coffee and Bible study together. On a Monday, many of the local retailers on Main are closed, leaving the cafe, bank, the police department and Town Hall getting most of the traffic.
There was plenty of activity at the police department. And lots to talk around town as word spread about the arrest of one of Luther’s own police officers. It’s the kind of news that brings out the big city media, and the kind of news that leaves residents here saying, “not again.”
Anthony Butler, 42, was arrested Sunday night. He’s accused of strangling his girlfriend in front of her two young children at their home within Town limits. Butler also is accused of getting in a tussle with the officer with whom he took an oath to serve as one entrusted to ensure the public safety of Luther. The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office ultimately took over the scene and proceeded with the investigation.
The Luther Register received the Probable Cause Affidavit from arresting officer, OSCO Deputy Todd Bussell.
“Due to Anthony Butler being an Officer for the Luther Police Department, I was requested to take the scene. While speaking with Officer Walker I was advised when he arrived at the residence he noticed Mr. Butler on top of “the victim” with his hands on her neck. Officer Walker advised me he had to pull Mr. Butler off of her after multiple commands as he entered the bedroom. Officer Walker stated Mr. Butler attacked him by throwing him into the wall and scratching his neck and chest. Officer Waker stated two children were in the residence during the incident.
While speaking with the victim, she stated Mr. Butler came to the residence intoxicated and started arguing with her.”
Was alcohol involved? The authorities say yes. Will Butler lose his job? Currently, he remains in the Oklahoma County jail and he is suspended from his duties with LPD without pay. His last LPD shift was Wednesday last week.
He faces charges of domestic abuse, assault and battery on a police officer and domestic abuse in the presence of a minor.
The victim and her daughters are safe, and local counselors at a Bright Tomorrow Counseling are offering services to help deal with the aftermath of domestic violence.
Luther Police Chief David Randall hasn’t even hit his first anniversary as the new chief. In the first ten months or so on the job, he has fired a police officer, investigated an alleged stabbing of another of his officers and has worked to improve communication with the community while building up his department.
Reflecting, Chief Randall said he never anticipated all that would have happened in his first year. He acknowledges he inherited a lot of issues.
“We’ve cut corners in the past with previous administrations, and that has been a disservice to the people of Luther. That is not me,” said Randall. “Luther deserves better.”
“Domestic violence is deplorable for a police officer and I won’t have it,” he said. Randall emphasized he is following policy and protocol as the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, although LPD has reserve officers who serve without pay, the paid police force is down another officer. Randall said “when one stumbles, we all stumble. We all have to rearrange our lives to make sure that the Town is safe.”
Meanwhile, the Luther Police cruiser often seen parked at Butler’s home in town, is now parked behind Town Hall.