TAMPA — Tampa police arrested a 15-year veteran of Clearwater Fire & Rescue about 4 a.m. Nov. 24 after he reportedly pointed a handgun at his girlfriend and a police officer.
Lt. Christopher Maine, 41, was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail where he was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, one count of domestic battery by strangulation, one count of false imprisonment and one count of tampering with a witness.
According to Tampa police, Maine and his girlfriend were drinking when they got into an argument over politics. The two have been living together for about six months.
Maine reportedly became “enraged” and grabbed the victim by the throat and forced her to the ground, restricting her airway. Police say the victim managed to kick him off her, but he then went into the kitchen and got a handgun, which he pointed at the victim and said he was going to shoot her.
The victim tried to call 911 using a landline phone attached to a wall; however, Maine grabbed the phone and prevented her from calling. He then reportedly grabbed her and began to drag her as she attempted to get to the phone and leave.
She then tried to find her cell phone to call 911, but police say he grabbed it and threw it away. Sometime during the struggle, the victim grabbed a beer bottle and broke it. She then used it to defend herself.
The arrest report is not clear, but somehow it seems that a 911 call did make it through. The first police officer on the scene reported hearing Maine yelling at the victim to get up against the wall.
When the officer knocked on the door, the victim opened it and let the officer know that Maine had a gun. The officer and the victim were standing in the doorway and Maine reportedly was pointing the gun at both of them.
The incident was captured on the officer’s body-worn camera.
The officer pulled the victim from the doorway and made sure she was a safe distance away before going back to the door. The officer then ordered Maine to surrender, which he did.
Police say Maine and the victim have been a together “one and off for 5.5 years.”
Clearwater Fire & Rescue confirmed that Maine had been employed since 2005 and had been a lieutenant since 2016. He was placed on unpaid administrative leave and has had no previous formal discipline from the city.
"We learned this morning of the allegations against one of our employees, and we are troubled by his arrest," said Fire Chief Scott Ehlers in a statement. "This is not the type of conduct we expect from those who serve our city. We are working to gain more information from the Tampa Police Department about the case."