State Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, was charged with domestic assault Sunday morning following an altercation with his wife at the couple’s home here, sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Ricker said in a report Sunday afternoon.
According to the report, Hawk’s wife told deputies that her husband struck her in the face with his hand, knocking her to the ground.
Hawk pleaded Not Guilty to the charge this morning in an appearance in Greene County General Sessions Court.
Later this morning, Hawk contacted The Greeneville Sun and provided this brief statement: “I am innocent and did not do what has been alleged against me. I did not harm my wife.”
A five-term member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Hawk was held in the Greene County Detention Center overnight pending a first scheduled appearance this morning in Greene County General Sessions Court.
Because of the nature of the charge, no bond was set, the report said. It is common practice for no bond to be set in cases involving domestic assault until the accused has made an initial appearance before a judge.
Hawk’s wife is Crystal Goan Hawk, a Greeneville attorney and the current president of the Greene County Republican Women.
Rep. Hawk appeared this morning in General Sessions Court with his attorney, Jerry W. Laughlin.
Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr. set bond at $500 and scheduled a May 21 return court date.
In the meantime, Bailey ordered Hawk to have no contact with his wife. He will be allowed supervised visitation with their 11-month-old child.
Bailey is acquainted with Hawk and his wife and said he will ask the state Administrative Office of the Courts to appoint a special judge to hear the case.
“I’m in a difficult position,” he said.
Assistant District Attorney General Chal Thompson sought a restraining order against Hawk for the couple’s child.
Hawk’s attorney said Hawk should have unsupervised access to the child, and the matter should be resolved in “divorce court.”
But the court’s requirement for supervised visitation remained in place.
“Given the allegations ... I have to do that,” Bailey said of imposing restricted access to the child.
Bailey said a judge appointed to the case can lift the restriction if he or she considers it appropriate to do so.
Hawk appeared in court in blue jeans and a long-sleeved blue shirt. He waived the reading of the arrest warrant, and had no comment during the court proceeding.
“Mr. Hawk has entered a plea of Not Guilty, and it may not be appropriate for me to make a statement,” Laughlin said outside the courtroom.
What Report States
The Sheriff’s Department report of the incident states that Mrs. Hawk told deputies the couple had been drinking on Saturday night and Rep. Hawk became angry about 1 a.m. Sunday after “looking through her cell phone.”
“Throughout the course of the morning she stated they had been arguing,” the report said. She told officers that the argument culminated in her being struck in the face about 8 a.m.
According to the report, she said that Hawk struck her while she was holding the couple’s 11-month-old daughter.
The report stated that Mrs. Hawk told deputies that, after she was struck, Rep. Hawk “took the child from her and went to a neighbor’s house.”
The report stated that Mrs. Hawk went to a friend’s house on Crockett Lane. Deputies were called and spoke to her there.
Rep. Hawk was later located at home and taken into custody, the report said.
‘Bruising and Swelling’
The criminal complaint filed against Hawk in connection with the domestic assault charge alleges that he committed the offense “by grabbing the victim by the arm, striking her in the face, causing injury and knocking her to the ground.”
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 complaint states.
Hawk has filed to be a candidate for re-election in the Aug. 2 State Republican Primary Election.
He is chairman of the Conservation and Environment Committee in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
Hawk is also a member of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee, and the Calendar and Rules Committee.
The 5th District, which Hawk represents, was reapportioned last month and now encompasses about 90 percent of Greene County — all but a handful of precincts in the westernmost part of the county.
Currently, Hawk’s district includes the eastern portion of Greene County and all of Unicoi County.