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Morrison says estranged wife manipulated the system to get him arrested

Rob Morrison, left, with his lawyer, Frank Discala, outside Stamford court on Tuesday, after being arraigned for harassment and violation of a protective order.

Rob Morrison, left, with his lawyer, Frank Discala, outside Stamford court on Tuesday, after being arraigned for harassment and violation of a protective order. (Darien Times/Laureen Vellante)

The embattled ex-news anchor for WCBS News claims that his wife, also a television personality, used a protective order as retribution against him after he refused to discuss relocating in the presence of the couple’s 8-year-old son.

Darien Police arrested Rob Morrison, 46, for violating a protective order after he contacted his wife, former CBS MoneyWatch anchor Ashley Morrison, more than 100 times over Memorial Day weekend. He was also charged with harassment, and his wife told police that she feared he “could kill her if she got him arrested,” according to court records.

• Rob Morrison arrested for violating a protective order

Morrison said the entire incident has been taken out of context. He said most of those phone calls and text messages were the result of his attempts to contact his son after Ashley kicked him out of the house for refusing to discuss relocation plans.

“She became very agitated and very irate,” Morrison told The Darien Times. “I was trying to diffuse the situation. She raised her voice, called me names, et cetera… I look over and there’s [our son]… He’s crying. He saw what he perceived to be a pretty boisterous argument between his mom and dad, when in fact, it was instigated by one party.

“I was trying to make my way over to comfort him and she” yelled at him to leave in front of their son, he said. “If she says that I’ve got to go,” under the terms of the protective order.

“He witnessed me getting tossed out of the house,” he continued. “I can only imagine how traumatic that is for an 8-year-old.”

After leaving, Morrison said he tried calling and texting his wife to check on his son, but she would not respond.

“I understand it’s a shocking number,” he said, “but it was a concerned father trying to reach his son. I’m concerned. I can’t go to the house. I need to know that [my son] is OK.”

He had planned on taking his son golfing, and was concerned that his son would be confused when the two never made the outing, Morrison said, which could also explain the high number of phone calls and texts.

“My biggest fear in the world is that he thinks his daddy’s left, that ‘he doesn’t care about me,’ ” Morrison said.

For three weeks after the incident, Morrison said he and Ashley and their son have “had some wonderful times.”

“I had no idea she went to the cops,” he said. “I still don’t know why.”

“As far as I’m concerned, it was simply that she was aggravated and angry that I wouldn’t have that conversation and she decided to put a barrier between me and my son,” he said. “I think that’s an abuse of a protective order that’s put in place to help people who are in danger or some sort of peril. It’s not meant — because you’re in a bad mood — to prevent a father from talking to his son.”

Morrison declined to comment if he and Ashley were considering staying together. Police have responded to several domestic related problems over the past several years, culminating in an incident in 2013 where Morrison was arrested for choking his wife and threatening to kill her while he was being processed at the police station. Those charges were essentially dropped in April this year.

• CBS anchor Rob Morrison accused, later resigns

Court records show that Ashley came to police headquarters at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, “physically shaking” and “in a very fragile state.”

According to Darien Police Sgt. Keri Issac, Ashley said that Rob had told her “many times that she will never get rid of him.”

Both Ashley and Morrison’s attorney, Frank Discala, agreed that their her intention with going to police was not to get him arrested, and she declined to provide police with any evidence or a statement, records show.

“However, it is my obligation as a police officer to investigate the matter and per our conversation I applied for a search warrant for [Morrison's] cell phone records,” Isaac wrote.

Ashley Morrison could not be immediately reached for comment. Read the full story in this week’s print edition of the Darien Times, on newsstands Thursday, June 19.

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  • Eddie

    Lame lame lame.

  • Tony Trotter

    I think the 99th phone call put up that “barrier,” Rob.

  • twilllllson

    I’m not sure why the Darien Times decided to give him a soapbox.

  • sws123

    Rob she manipulated the system by having you call her over 100 times in a day, take a look online at the Wheel of Domestic Violence, if you did the 26 week class it should be familiar to you, and it is familiar to the police department folks that arrested you. You are in real trouble now because the “state” did the complaint against you, so your wife can’t drop the charges.. good luck.. and read this, and see if it sounds familiar http://www.domesticviolence.org/violence-wheel/

    • sws123

      Robert, it is a bad day for you, since the police did the charges, your wife cant drop them, and they have evidence from your own phone that you called 120 times, which meets the harassment statute in any jurisdiction.

      Further the situation with your kid, will get revisited since the violence, and your conviction for violating the protection order will weigh badly on custody, etc.

      Finally CT has a very progressive law, see below

      What if the Order is Violated?

      If the defendant violates the protective order, s/he can be arrested for the crime of “Violating a Protective Order.” Because the violation of a protective order typically includes other criminal behavior as well (e.g., Assault, Criminal Trespass Harassment) will likely be charged with those crimes as well.

      NOTE: The violation of a protective order is a Class D Felony; a person convicted of the violation can be imprisoned for up to 5 years and/or fined up to $5,000, or both.

      • sws123

        And Rob, Finally.. blaming the victim that is what DV folks do,

        HOUSE APPROVES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL
        Legislation Improves Police Procedures & Restraining Order Enforcement

        House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) announced that a bill (HB 5548) based on the Speaker’s Task Force on Domestic Violence’s recommendations passed the Connecticut House of Representatives by a vote of 147-0.

        Speaker Donovan said, “When a victim has worked up the courage to call police, to request a restraining order or to leave her home, we want to make sure that services are in place to support them. In addition, because we owe it to victims to train police in best practices so they can respond to calls speedily and appropriately, we give police officers new tools for responding to domestic violence incidents. This bill gives new support to victims, police officers, advocates and other front-line service providers.”

        A key part of the bill gives police officers new tools for responding to incidents of domestic violence, including a requirement that municipal police departments develop and implement operational guidelines for arrest policies. The departments would set a uniform standard, but are given flexibility to tailor implementation to fit their departments. The bill also establishes a Family Violence Model Policy Governing Council to update the model policy going forward and review relevant data.

        “Today’s bill makes things easier for victims in what can be a harrowing and traumatic experience. It also strengthens the tools needed to punish offenders,” said State Representative Mae Flexer (D-Killingly, Plainfield, Sterling), Chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Domestic Violence.

        Donovan explained that victims are often confused about the appropriate place to report electronic and telephonic violations of restraining and protective orders. The legislation will allow victims to report violations in the town where they reside, where they receive the communication or where the communication was initiated. The bill also makes it easier for victims to get restraining orders against people who pose a threat to them.

        “The fight to reduce the incidence of domestic violence is an ongoing challenge,” said Gerald Fox III, House Chair of the Judiciary Committee. “Enhancing the tools of the legal system, particularly in the area of protective orders, is critical to the ultimate success of these efforts.”

        The legislation also permits judges to issue restraining orders for up to one year. Currently the maximum length of a restraining order is six months. Donovan said this change will reduce stress and risk to victims who will have to return to court and interface with their offenders less frequently.

        Donovan said with increasing numbers of people using texting as their primary way of communicating, the task force would like to see a 911 texting system implemented statewide. Unfortunately there a number of technical barriers to implementing 911 texting, so the legislation requires the Office of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of developing a 911 texting system.

        The bill also requires that courts share protective orders with schools that victims attend, upon request of a victim. Current law requires that orders be shared with the police departments in the town where the victim lives and works and the town where the defendant lives, but it does not require that schools or campus police are notified of an order.

        Although threatening is often a precursor to serious violence, threatening with a firearm is currently a misdemeanor in Connecticut. This bill would make threats that involve the use of a firearm a felony crime. It also strengthens the definition of stalking to ensure that stalking incidents—including digital stalking—are appropriately punished.

        The task force, created by Speaker Donovan in 2009 and led by Rep. Flexer since its creation, has led the effort over the past few years to enact stronger and tougher laws to prevent violence against women and assist victims of domestic violence. Additional information about the task force can be found on its web site at http://www.housedems.ct.gov/DV

  • sws123

    How is it that the local little league did not screen rob from coaching 9 yr old kids with his record and misbehaving a protective order against him

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