Craig man pepper-sprayed in face, jailed on multiple charges
A Craig man is accused of a watery-eyed run-in with his ex-wife last week after she told police she found him hiding in a family member’s basement.
According to jail records, Clinton David Ginther, 36, was arrested April 2 on charges of first-degree burglary, third-degree assault, violation of bail bonds, violation of bail bond conditions, violation of a restraining order, and domestic violence.
According to an arrest affidavit report by Craig Police Department Sgt. Marvin Cameron, officers responded to a residence in Craig for a disturbance call wherein a male was not supposed to be in a residence.
“I immediately recognized the address as being Clinton and (victim’s) Ginther’s residence,” the affidavit says. “I am familiar with Clinton and (victim) Ginther from previous law enforcement contacts. I know that Clinton and (victim) have been involved in multiple domestic violence disputes and restraining orders are normally in place.”
The affidavit says police were advised Ginther had slipped into an alley and left the area, but Craig police soon caught up with him on the 800 block of Tucker Street. It was then police said they noticed Ginther’s eyes were closed and he needed to be decontaminated in an ambulance due to him having been sprayed in the face with some sort of self-defense spray.
“Through my training as a police officer, I have personally been “OC” (pepper sprayed) and know that it is very difficult to keep your eyes open,” the affidavit says.
Police said they then went back to interview the alleged victim. According to the affidavit, she told police she filed for divorce from Ginther, who had been out of the Moffat County jail a few days at that time. She said she has been staying at a family member’s home and came to do some chores. The affidavit says when she entered the basement to do laundry, “she heard something or someone moving around.”
After grabbing her cell phone to use its built-in flashlight, the victim said she saw it.
“In the northwest room of the basement, (victim) saw the futon sofa was slightly elevated indicating to her that someone or something was under the futon,” the affidavit says. “(Victim) found Clinton hiding under the futon bed.”
Perhaps knowing the jig was up, the affidavit says Ginther “flipped the futon bed over,” and “placed (victim) into a side headlock and threw her to the ground.”
As Ginther stood towering over her as she laid on the ground, the affidavit says that’s when the victim pulled out her spray and let it rip.
“(Victim) began spraying Clinton with her OC spray,” the affidavit says. “Clinton went upstairs and began washing his face.”
Upon further investigation, police said they learned the landlord had evicted Ginther “and kicked all of Clinton’s associates out,” in December due to nonpayment of rent and another arrest at the residence in which Ginther allegedly barricaded himself inside.
Police cleared the home for the victim but, according to the affidavit, got some essence of eye-stinging self-defense spray themselves.
“While clearing the residence, I began to experience the effects of OC spray while in the kitchen area and in the basement,” the affidavit says. “I also saw that the futon couch in the Northwest room of the basement was on its side.”
The affidavit lists four restraining orders in place against Ginther going back to November 2017 and three conditions of bond Ginther allegedly violated.
According to Moffat County court staff, Ginther is still in custody on $20,000 in total bonds. He is set to appear before Judge Sandra Gardner’s Moffat County Court #2 at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 9.
Contact Clay Thorp at 970-875-1795 or cthorp@CraigDailyPress.com.