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Officer contradicts girlfriend on thrust of domestic fight

Officer Mark L. Feldhousen took the witness stand in his own defense Thursday, offering a completely different account of a domestic fight with his girlfriend that resulted in his arrest and suspension from the Niagara Falls police force.

Feldhousen, 59, who is 6-feet-4, insisted in Niagara County Court that 5-foot-4 Shona Hamilton, 40, attacked him, not the other way around, as Hamilton testified Tuesday.

Feldhousen was arrested Dec. 14 and charged with second-degree assault. Hamilton suffered a concussion and a punctured eardrum, a doctor testified.

After a day off today, the jury is expected to deliberate Monday.

The twice-divorced Feldhousen said that Hamilton continually accused him of infidelity, to the point that he threatened to leave her if she brought the topic up again.

He said Hamilton had forced him to obtain blood tests for sexually transmitted diseases four times during their four-year relationship. All the tests, he said, were negative.

On the evening of Nov. 12 in Hamilton's Cudaback Avenue home, where Feldhousen had moved all of his clothing, Hamilton allegedly accused him three times of infidelity. He said he went to bed.

The officer testified that as he was lying facedown, Hamilton "started screaming," climbed onto his back and tore off his pajama top.

"She takes both hands and starts at the top of my shoulders and went down both sides," Feldhousen said. He said the resulting scratch marks never bled.

As Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre placed the pajamas on the courtroom floor and crawled on top of them to demonstrate the woman's alleged acts, Feldhousen said Hamilton turned around to face his feet and proceeded to shred his pajama bottoms before scratching his legs.

Feldhousen said, "I reacted. I turned to my right and fell to the floor. As I get up, she starts kicking me."

Baehre noted that Feldhousen had said Hamilton was wearing 2-inch heels.

"I believe that's what she was wearing, yes," Feldhousen said. "They were hard. It was a month before [the pain] went away."

He said the woman never fell to the floor.

Feldhousen said that he finally got away -- "escaped from this vicious attack," as Baehre sarcastically put it -- and made it to the bathroom, but that Hamilton forced her way in, and the swinging door took the skin off two of Feldhousen's toes.

None of this account bears any resemblance to Hamilton's version. She said that she kissed Feldhousen and that he started screaming at her to stop and knocked her against a couple of dressers.

Feldhousen said that he got out of the upstairs bathroom and headed downstairs but that Hamilton detoured into a downstairs bathroom as Feldhousen got dressed.

He ran to his car with Hamilton in pursuit, he said, but she fell because of the 2-inch heels, and he was able to lock himself in the car. He said he did so because Hamilton had snapped off two keys in the ignition in previous quarrels over alleged cheating.

Feldhousen said the woman climbed onto the hood of the car, which he had started.

"I said, 'Get off the hood of my car or I'm going to call the police and have you arrested for assaulting me,' " Feldhousen testified.

He said Hamilton eventually got off the car. "She knew I would never drive away with her on the hood of my car. She knew I would never hurt her," Feldhousen testified.

"You're a gentleman," Baehre remarked.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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