A former Cottage Grove council member was charged Monday with allegedly head-butting and punching his wife, a former Washington County commissioner, in the face during a dispute about caring for their child.
Derrick G. Lehrke, 35, was charged by the Cottage Grove city attorney’s office with one count of domestic assault, a misdemeanor. Lehrke allegedly attacked Autumn Lehrke in the couple’s Cottage Grove home on Jan. 29.
“During the course of the argument the Defendant became upset and head-butted Ms. Lehrke across the top of her nose,” the complaint said. “Ms. Lehrke stated that when that occurred she simply looked at the Defendant and stated ‘Did you really just do that?’ Ms. Lehrke stated that she was holding their young child at the time.”
Autumn Lehrke, 33, issued a written statement saying that she asked that no charges be filed, and that she is frustrated that her “desires have been completely ignored.” Alleged victims of domestic abuse do not have to grant permission for the filing of criminal charges.
“I do not believe the facts are accurate as contained in the complaint,” her statement said. “I love my husband and we are going to get through this difficult and embarrassing time together.”
She did not identify which details she contests in the criminal complaint.
Derrick Lehrke’s attorney, Michael Edman, issued a statement saying that there are “fact issues” in the case.
“Mr. Lehrke will be exonerated of the charges,” said Edman’s statement.
According to the complaint: Someone in the Lehrke’s home called 911 about 10:13 a.m. Jan. 29. The caller didn’t speak, but the 911 dispatcher heard a woman upset and crying in the background. Police arrived at the home and found Autumn Lehrke with a swollen face and reddened eyes.
She told police that when she and her husband awoke that morning, she asked him to get their baby because she was tired from working late at the bar they own. Derrick Lehrke allegedly said he had also been up the previous night, and the two began to argue, the complaint said.
Derrick Lehrke then allegedly head-butted his wife, spit in her hair and tore her pajama shorts. Autumn Lehrke tore her husband’s shirt, the complaint said. As the argument continued, Derrick Lehrke allegedly ran at his wife from across the room and punched her in the face.
Autumn Lehrke then ordered her husband to leave, and he complied.
Derrick Lehrke is also charged in a separate incident with careless driving and two counts of speeding.
Chao Xiong 612-270-4708