June 10, 2014

Warrants: Fort Worth officer told wife she should be set on fire

The officer accused in a domestic assault is on restricted duty, police say.

A veteran Fort Worth police officer yelled at his wife that she should be set on fire and cut with a razor and should have her eyes gouged out last month as children stood nearby in their Arlington home, according to arrest warrants obtained by the Star-Telegram.

Fort Worth officer Lawrence Blanchard ordered his 4-year-old son to swear at her and tell her to shut up, which the boy did, the warrants state.

Blanchard, a 25-year veteran of the department, was arrested Monday. He was on restricted duty pending an administrative investigation related to the Arlington case, Fort Worth police said.

Blanchard, 51, remained free Tuesday after posting bail on charges of terroristic threatening and assault bodily injury/family member. He could not be reached Tuesday.

Blanchard told Arlington police May 28 that he had turned in his paperwork to retire from the Fort Worth department, according to the warrants.

He and his wife attended a divorce hearing Thursday, and a two-year protective order was issued, the warrants say.

The warrants gave this account of the incident:

Blanchard began drinking May 19 and argued with his wife about their six children. Four of the children, all under age 5, were at the house. The dispute continued into the morning of May 20 when Blanchard began to verbally abuse his wife. He called her derogatory names and told the 4-year-old that she is a prostitute and isn’t really the child’s mother.

His wife says he spit in her face twice, grabbed and twisted her right wrist and waved a handgun, saying, “I got something for you, I got something for you.”

She recorded the incident on her smartphone in two excerpts, one 30 minutes and the other about nine. In the longer recording, Blanchard calls his wife derogatory names and tells her that when she dies, he won’t have a funeral and will throw her body into the woods so the maggots can have her.

In the other recording, Blanchard orders the 4-year-old to tell his mother, using profanity, that he will cut her throat. The child does so. Blanchard can also be heard threatening to kill his wife and gouge her eyes out.

At some point, Blanchard’s 25-year-old niece arrived at the home and heard the argument. The niece described Blanchard as “very angry” and said he may have “snapped.”

The niece told Arlington detectives that she got Blanchard to leave with her to pick up another of his children at school and took him to her mother’s home.

In the May 28 police interview, Blanchard acknowledged that he and his wife had been arguing over their children, but he denied assaulting her. He said he had the handgun that morning so she wouldn’t hide or destroy it.

Blanchard also said he never threatened to kill his wife and confirmed that he spit in her face but said it was an accident. He told detectives that he might have called his wife names.

He said his wife told his older son to kill himself.

During the May 28 interview, Blanchard agreed to take a polygraph, but he told detectives Thursday that he no longer wants to.

In 2011, Blanchard was arrested and accused of fighting with his older son, according to the warrants. Both were arrested on Class C misdemeanor charges, and Blanchard’s case is still pending.

Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.

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