Man facing felonies after SWAT arrest

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Hagadone News Network | November 11, 2020 1:00 AM

SPIRIT LAKE — SWAT officers arrested a man last week after he allegedly attacked his girlfriend, threatened to shoot himself and holed up inside a detached garage with a weapon.

Dustin R. Hart, 35, is charged with attempted strangulation and domestic battery in the presence of a child, both felonies.

Police responded around 11:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, to a reported domestic dispute in Spirit Lake. A woman at the residence identified herself as Hart’s girlfriend. The couple has a 2-month-old baby together.

The woman said she and Hart were arguing when he threw her against the kitchen cabinets. She told police Hart pushed her against the wall, grabbed her neck and squeezed at least three times. He also allegedly slapped her face multiple times.

Red marks on the woman’s neck resembled a handprint, police said, and there were marks on her face, as well. She also had a bloody nose, according to court documents.

Hart allegedly grabbed the woman by her hair and threw her against the kitchen counter. She said he then grabbed her by the neck and “smashed” her against a cabinet, hard enough to put a hole through the door.

The woman told police she grabbed a knife from a drawer. Hart reportedly took the knife from her.

Hart then allegedly retrieved a shotgun and put the barrel in his mouth, according to court documents. He then reportedly went outside with the gun and entered a detached garage. He was still in the garage when police arrived, according to court documents.

Police reportedly ordered Hart to exit the garage several times over an hour and a half, according to court documents, but he did not comply.

Because Hart was armed, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office multi-agency SWAT team responded to the scene. Hart reportedly surrendered to SWAT officers around 2:30 a.m.

He allegedly told police he and the woman had argued and denied slapping or choking her. He said the woman was suicidal and he had taken a knife away from her for her own safety, according to court documents. He reportedly said he had not pointed a gun at himself.

Police arrested Hart at the scene.

Judge Robert Caldwell ordered this week that Hart be held on $50,000 bail and issued a no-contact order between Hart and the woman.