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CF man arrested on domestic battery charge

Staff Writer | June 8, 2023 1:00 AM

A Clark Fork man was arrested in mid-May after deputies contend he struck a resident of a home after refusing to leave.

Byron Ruen, 34, had allegedly stayed at the home — one of several, according to court records — for roughly five months when the resident grew tired of housing him, according to court documents. Ruen did not have keys, the alleged victim told Bonner County deputies that he came and went as he pleased most of the time.

On May 19, Ruen allegedly barged into the residence and was told repeatedly to leave, according to court records. The man walked outside, at which point the alleged victim told deputies they locked the door behind him. According to the probable cause affidavit, Ruen began screaming through the door but eventually left, only to return a short time later, kicking the door off its hinges in the process.

“[The alleged victim] called 911 but [they] changed [their] mind as Ruen was telling [them] that if [they] called the cops, it would ruin his life,” a deputy wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

The alleged victim took a video of the incident, which they played for deputies, according to court records. While it is unclear how that situation ended, Ruen allegedly returned 10 days later, again breaking a different door off its hinges to get inside, according to court records.

“Ruen told [the alleged victim] the door just fell off the hinges,” the deputy wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

He repeatedly ignored instructions to leave, and instead went into the alleged victim’s bedroom and took something of theirs, although court records do not specify what he grabbed. When the alleged victim asked what he was doing, Ruen responded that he was taking something they owned, as he allegedly always did when he visited.

At this point, the probable cause affidavit said the individual pushed Ruen, trying to get him out of the bedroom and out of the house. In return, Ruen allegedly punched the individual in the back of the head, court records said, and grabbed their arms as the individual struggled to remove him from the home. When deputies looked for evidence of this struggle, they noticed a raised bump behind the alleged victim’s ear where they were allegedly struck as well as multiple bruises on their arms, according to court records.

When deputies finally made contact with Ruen, he told them the alleged victim refused to let him leave the residence rather than trying to push him out of the house.

“He told me he had never hit any woman or man,” the deputy wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

Ruen told deputies that neither he nor the alleged victim had ever gotten into any sort of physical altercation with one another, court records said. However, when Ruen was placed in handcuffs, he began to change his story, asking if hitting back in “self-defense” counted as hitting someone, according to court records. Ruen then told deputies that the alleged victim had hit and kicked him five or six times, court documents said, and claimed he punched outward to try and defend himself from the individual's blows.

Due to the alleged victim’s visible injuries and Ruen having little to none, he was arrested for one charge of domestic violence battery. A preliminary hearing is set for June 14.

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