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A Fort Smith firefighter was arrested Sunday, accused of battering his wife and being in possession of methamphetamine.

John M. Bolton was arrested at his residence in the first block of Prestwick Court on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, felony level endangering the welfare of a minor and misdemeanor level third-degree domestic battery, according to a police report.

Officer Jason Thompson of the Fort Smith Police Department was dispatched to Bolton’s residence after a third party contacted the Police Department and reported that Bolton’s ex-wife Amanda had called him and begged him to call the police. The third party also reported that he could hear a man in the background threatening Amanda Bolton. When Thompson arrived at the scene, he found Amanda Bolton standing at the east side of the duplex and appeared to be visibly upset, according to the report.

“Amanda was crying uncontrollably and I observed red marks on the outside of both her arms between her shoulders and elbows and I also noticed a red mark on her chest below her neck,” Thompson stated in the report.

Amanda Bolton told Thompson that her ex-husband was inside the residence with their young child and that she had been at the residence for a couple days because she does not trust her ex-husband’s ability to care for their child, the report states.

Amanda Bolton said she noticed that John Bolton was in a “bad mood” while holding their child, and she began to gather some things to leave. She said he became angry and, while still holding their child, grabbed her by the arms and threw against a wall and onto the ground. She said he wrestled with her on the ground and slapped her on the arm, the report states.

Amanda Bolton said that during the struggle, she managed to grab the child away from her ex-husband, but he ultimately pulled the child from her grasp and forced her out of the residence and locked the door, the report states.

While speaking with Amanda Bolton, Thompson was told that John Bolton had choked her a few days prior and that she had a protection order against him, according to the report.

“Amanda said that John was in the residence with their child and that there were weapons inside,” Thompson stated. “(She) said John also told her that if she left, he would kill her.”

Thompson attempted to contact John Bolton by knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell.

Other officers were called to the scene and a perimeter was set up around the duplex. Sgt. Chris Harris attempted to contact Bolton by cell phone, but to no avail. Thompson stated in the report that at this time he contacted a dispatcher and confirmed that Amanda Bolton had obtained a protection order against John Bolton and that Bolton was known to be violent and sometimes armed.

After clearing out residents from the neighboring duplex, Thompson went to the rear of the duplex to secure the perimeter. He states that he heard the glass door slide open and someone step outside.

“I drew my service weapon and ordered the subject to show their hands,” Thompson stated.

John Bolton appeared with the child in his arms. Thompson ordered Bolton to put the child down and put his hands up. Bolton placed the child down, but did not raise his hands; instead, he tried to talk to Thompson. After further verbal commands from Thompson, Bolton complied and went to the ground and was taken into custody and transported to the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center, according to the report.

Bolton was placed on paid administrative leave from the Fort Smith Fire Department on Monday, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

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