Can this marriage be saved?
That question has been a staple feature of the Ladies Home Journal for decades, a magazine probably not frequently read by a San Mateo couple who had a rather public marriage test at the Lodge at Sonoma on Sept. 14.
The test involved a small dog, a hot tub, a bathing suit top, quite a lot of alcohol and, allegedly, some mutual punches to the face.
Sonoma police were called at about 9:20 p.m. to investigate a case of domestic battery and arrived to find a very intoxicated man lying on the grass with a hotel security guard standing over him.
The man’s wife was taking refuge in a nearby room, but not a room the two had rented.
Questioned about what happened, the 33-year-old wife told police she and her husband were having drinks when she decided to go to the facility’s outdoor hot tub while her husband stayed behind.
She said that when she got into the hot tub she decided to take the top of her bathing suit off and had done so when her husband arrived, saw her topless, became enraged, grabbed her by the hair, pulled her out of the water and punched her two or three times in the face.
Police said the woman had a bloody lip and was also quite drunk.
When officers questioned the husband, he explained he had been drinking at the bar with his wife when she got up and ran off. He said his wife had once attempted suicide so, out of concern, he followed her to a room – again, not their own – into which she had locked herself. Fearing that she might be at risk, the man explained, he proceeded to kick the door in.
At that point, the husband reported, his wife yelled at him to “get the f*** out of here,” and hit him in the face. He then hit her, he said, and walked away.
But there was at least one more version of the story, because there was a witness in the hot tub when the woman arrived with, the witness said, a small dog in tow.
The witness, a woman, reported that the wife started to put her dog in the hot tub but that she, the witness, told her not to. The wife then took her swimming suit top off, whereupon, the witness said, she insisted, “Put your clothes back on.”
In response, the wife pulled the witness’s hair.
At that point, said the witness, the husband arrived, told his wife to put her clothes on, the wife refused, the husband pulled her out of the tub and hit her.
Where the room figured into the drama, whose room it was and how the wife gained entry remained unclear. Because the woman had a bloody lip – and thereby a visible injury – the 47-year-old husband was necessarily charged with felony domestic assault and, because he was on probation for an earlier DUI conviction, he was charged with a probation violation and was booked into the county jail.
But the wife did not require medical treatment and the husband’s felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, so perhaps there was still hope for the marriage.
In other incidents reported to local law enforcement:
Tuesday, Sept. 18:
2:20 p.m. – Look down, LOOK OUT! When the driver of a Toyota was making a left turn onto Broadway from East Napa Street, a white sedan approached eastbound on Napa, the driver looked down for a moment, and the sedan struck the Toyota.
The Toyota driver pulled over with minor body damage, but the white sedan continued through the intersection and disappeared.
The Toyota driver did not get a look at the other car’s license plate.
3:09 p.m. – Cut the cable, steal the bike. Police received a report about the theft of a silver, 21-speed, Giant mountain bike, with black and red letters that had been locked to the stairs of a home in the 700 block of First Street West. The bike had been locked with a cable, but the cable was cut.
The loss was estimated at $400.
3:44 p.m. – Can’t afford an iPhone 5? Embezzle. The 22-year-old assistant manager of a Sonoma pizza shop had an urgent need for a new iPhone 5, but she didn’t have all the money required to make an online purchase. So, according to the police report, she took $189 from the shop’s drop safe. But, because she didn’t have a checking account into which she could deposit the money, she asked an 18-year-old employee if he would deposit it in his account.
The unwitting employee did not know the money was stolen, but once the truth was out, he withdrew the money and returned it to the shop.
Police are filing a report with the district attorney for possible charges.
4:54 p.m. – Is nothing sacred? The owner of a $1,000 Specialized Allez road bike thought it would be perfectly safe to leave it behind a gate in the side yard of his parent’s home, in the 600 block of Mariano Court. Wrong.
When he came to retrieve it the next day, the gray bicycle was gone.