A man was arrested early Sept. 1 after allegedly beating his girlfriend only minutes after speaking with Benewah County Deputies.

Rodney K. Potter was arrested after beating a woman at their shared residence near Santa September 1. Intervention by the victim’s friends allowed her to escape and reach Benewah Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is now in jail on a $25,000 bond.

Deputy Anthony Peterson’s report said he was at Benewah County’s dispatch office at approximately 3:15 a.m. when he was told they had just received a hang-up call to 911. The dispatcher said they could hear what sounded like a couple talking, and then the line went dead.

The phone number on the call came back to a Santa woman, who the deputy had spoken with only half an hour earlier. At the time, he said the woman was in good condition.

“Because she was intoxicated during the earlier event, we believed the call to have been a pocket dial,” the deputy said. “During the event, (the woman) looked fine with no injuries, and was happy.”

Half an hour later, however, the deputies received word that the woman was at BCH with serious injuries from a domestic dispute. Deputy Peterson arrived at the hospital to find the victim with a number of scratches and bruises on her face, neck, back, arms and one leg.

The woman said that after interacting with the deputy in St. Maries, she had returned home to her residence on State 3, and had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend, Rodney K. Potter. The argument became heated and violent, so they both went outside to avoid waking their friends in the building.

Once outside, she said Potter grabbed her and threw her against the residence several times, then drug her by the arms across the ground, up a flight of stairs and into the residence. The victim said she yelled for help, and Potter grabbed her by the throat and began to strangle her until she could not breathe. Dragging her into the bathroom, he allegedly slammed her into the bathtub, causing bruising to her face.

At some time during the fight, the victim attempted to use her phone to call 911. She said Potter took the phone outside and broke it, explaining the abortive 911 call received by dispatch.

As he did so, the victim again called for help, and friends in the building responded. Though Potter allegedly tried to stop them, her friends were able to remove her from the residence and take her to the hospital.

“(The victim) also told me to be careful going to the residence, because Potter was saying he would commit suicide, and has a pistol,” Deputy Peterson’s report said.

Along with Deputy Brandon Vannatter, Deputy Peterson traveled to Potter’s residence to arrest him. Upon arrival, he saw through a window that Potter was passed out on the couch with a glass pipe in his hand. Deputy Peterson recognized the pipe as a meth pipe. The deputies loudly ordered Potter to open the door, and he complied.

Found on Potter’s person were the meth pipe and two wallets – both his own and the victim’s – as well as a plastic baggie of white substance. In the residence, deputies also found his handgun, a .22 revolver.

Potter claimed to Deputy Vannatter that he did not remember an altercation with the victim, and that the last memory he had before his arrest was interacting with the deputies in St. Maries 30 minutes prior to the alleged attack.

Potter was transported to the Benewah County Jail and charged with domestic battery with traumatic injury and attempted strangulation, both felonies. He is being held on a $25,000 bond.

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