Caraway’s Police Incident Started Over Aprons

By J.D. Miles & Stephanie Lucero, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Dallas released police records on Wednesday related to a domestic disturbance incident at the home of interim mayor Dwaine Caraway on January 2. The records include a taped interview and notes taken at the scene, which happened after friends left the home following a Dallas Cowboys game.

In the interview, Caraway explains that a “child-like” argument erupted between he and his wife, related to some kitchen aprons that had been thrown away. Caraway said that he did not want the aprons removed, and his wife, State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, became upset, going into a “fit of rage.”

Caraway said, “When she gets set off, everyone gets out of the way.”

Fearing that the incident was going to escalate, Caraway said that he retreated into a room, using a door to separate himself from his wife. He held his legs against the door and used an arm to brace himself, keeping Barbara from entering the room. The couple continued the argument through the door.

At some point, Caraway explained, his wife ran the blade of a knife through a small crack in the doorway, but he was never struck with the knife or injured in any way. Caraway said that he does not believe that his wife intended to actually hurt him. In fact, nobody was injured during the incident.

Caraway was able to eventually get away from the argument by using a chair to hold the door shut. That is when he called Chief David Brown with the Dallas Police Department. Brown sent investigators to check out the scene, but Caraway said Tuesday that he simply called Brown as a friend and did not want police to be sent over.

While trying to prevent the release of this police record on Tuesday, Caraway called the incident intimate, embarrassing and private. However, State District Judge Teresa Guerra Snelson denied an injunction and a restraining order filed by Caraway to block the release.

Police had recorded their conversation with Caraway when they responded to the incident. One of the police reports filed says that Caraway willingly got into a police car with officers because it was cold that night. That is when the conversation was recorded, but Caraway claims that he did not know about the recording. “The additional statements, not knowing I was being recorded, I would’ve never said,” Caraway explained in the courtroom on Tuesday. “It’s personal to myself and my wife.”

Caraway reiterated this sentiment on Wednesday, after the police records were made public: “I have contended from the start that the recording contains deeply personal and private information. There is no public interest in this information and I have made every effort to protect my family’s privacy,” Caraway said. “But I respect the ruling of the court and it’s time to move on.”

“Only a fool would assume that you have any expectation of privacy inside a police car,”  said Board Certified Criminal Attorney Tom Lochry. who added that in Texas it only requires the consent of one person to record a conversation.

The Dallas Police Association insists Caraway received special treatment because of his position. Police officials deny that claim, saying the department’s Special Investigative Unit routinely responds to calls when high-profile individuals are involved.

“It it were anyone else but high-profile public officials, they would be inside Lew Sterrett (Jail) with a book sergeant,” Lochry said.

Lochry says since the 1970’s, when the National Organization for Women demanded that police enforce domestic violence laws, police routinely jail the accused and magistrates implement protective orders.

“We had the illegal restraint of Mr. Caraway pinned in his own game room,” Lochry said, referring to Caraway’s statement that he locked himself in a room in his house to avoid being struck by his wife who was wielding a knife. “We have the use and exhibition of a deadly weapon: a knife.”

Caraway was Mayor Pro Tem at the time of the incident, but replaced Tom Leppert as Mayor after Leppert resigned to run for U.S. Senate. Caraway is not running in the May 14 election to fill the post permanently, but is running for reelection of his council seat.

While testifying in court Tuesday, Caraway said he expects to be easily reelected.  “I will win my race with 90 percent of the vote, the people’s vote… it is not what it does to me.”

DFW Airport Board member Betty Culbreath has known Caraway and his wife for years, and says the incident will not hurt either of them politically.  “The tape clearly shows this gentleman was concerned about his wife, and he was just genuinely trying to have an intervention.”

But political analyst John Weekley says Caraway hasn’t handled the situation well because the news has dragged out slowly over time, and both Caraways could face pressure to resign, especially Mrs. Caraway.  “If there’s no explanation, I think there’s a little of bit of skepticism, well how close do I really want to get to her with my bill or argument on the floor.”

Click here to read the three reports that the Dallas Police Department filed on this incident (PDF file).

We have also posted the recording of the conversation between Caraway and police that took place in the car. The recording contains profanity, and we have posted it without censoring the language. Click here to listen:


One Comment

  1. Glenn says:

    She may need this to slap some reasoning in her….he can’t by law. All high and mighty …would not want to wait on her at a restaurant.

  2. carlos says:

    what a wuz …call the police chief…my wife is after me… help!!!

  3. GOFORIT says:


  4. Kim Dar says:

    I have had my laugh for the day. This has got to be a joke. APRONS!!!! Every couple on earth has probably had one of those arguments and did not call the police chief. He made a mountain out of a mole hill. My mom was the same way. Fly off the handle over absolutely nothing, but we stayed out of her way until she calmed down. Back then they didn’t have anger management, but they do now and maybe she needs to check into it or they both need to check out some marriage counseling.

  5. Cda says:

    Sounds like domestic violence to me

    So why did they not do the mandatory arrest?? V

  6. Curious George says:

    Just so as I have this straight, AFTER a Dallas Cowboy game there was an argument over “aprons”. Then “State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, became upset, going into a “fit of rage.”…At some point, Caraway explained, his wife ran the blade of a knife through a small crack in the doorway.”

    So State Rep Caraway committed an attempted assault with a deadly weapon and she wasn’t arrested. Mr. Caraway continues to want to sleep in the same house with her? Does he sleep with at least one eye open?

    Just have to know, did the Cowboys win?

  7. Juana says:

    Big whoopie doo! If he had just kept his trap shut and not tried to fight the release of the reports, it would be a non-issue. Now the whole world knows about it! LOL

  8. Ethan says:

    LMAO!!!! Thank you Mayor Caraway for making me laugh so hard. “This *hit been going on for a while now….She tell the neighbors to quit ringing her *oddamn doorbell”. You don’t mess with a woman with a blade!

  9. Marc says:

    If that had happened at your house or my house someone would have gone to jail…but when Caraway can call up his buddy Chief Brown nobody goes to jail. This sounds strangely familiar…the last time Chief Brown was called over a domestic dispute it was Brown’s own son who was not taken to jail…and then later the same day he shot and killed a Police Officer before being shot by other Officers.
    In my opinion, both Caraway and Brown need to GO!!!

  10. Stew says:

    13:30 – Talking about divorce – and moving out, he hates to leave that kind of “element” (his wife) in the neighborhood.

    18:05 – She was going through my aprons and the only thing I said was, “don’t mess with my aprons, and BOOM!”. I don’t know how the officers kept a straight face.

    I know one thing, better not oppose her in Austin, *itch will cut your ass!

  11. nyla says:

    If he hadn’t made such a big deal about it, it probably wouldn’t have made the evening news. What a waste of the newscasters/viewers time!

  12. darrell says:

    two points i want to make.
    1 ) once police are summoned to investigate an incident it becomes official record.
    2 ) as a public official, scrutiny of your personal life, especially when involving police is the publics right to know. the office you hold is a privaledge not an entitlement and your actions in all things are reviewable by those who pay your salary. you are not special.

  13. Hoo says:

    Dwaine: It’s a who cares?

  14. cda says:

    I hope they send these guys when I commit a crime!!!!

    I will know I ain’t going to jail!!!!!!

  15. cda says:

    Family violence” means:(1) an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself;(2) abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001(1)(C), (E), and (G), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or(3) dating violence, as that term is defined by Section 71.0021.

    What Evidence Do The Police Need To Make An Arrest?
    An officer must arrest if probable cause exists to believe that bodily injury has occurred.

    Do the Police Need A Warrant To Arrest Me?
    Texas state law authorizes the police to make an arrest without a warrant of: “persons who the peace officer has probable cause to believe have committed an assault resulting in bodily injury to a member of the person’s family or household.” Tex. Code. Crim. Proc. Art. 14.03 (a) (4).

    This legal authorization leads to an automatic arrest or “zero tolerance” policy by many police departments. Once a call for assistance was made to a “911” operator regarding a domestic disturbance, someone is going to jail if there is any evidence, credible or not, of bodily injury.

  16. MrsM says:

    I believe that the “Aprons” he wanted to keep,and that she wanted to throw away belonged to another female he was seeing. That is why she became so enraged.
    However,what she did was an attempted assault,and wrong.
    We need a cooler head.

  17. LM says:

    What in this story is of any concern to anybody. The DMN and other news media do not know how to investigate or cover news so that sue to bring out this complete BS, and act like they have really uncovered something. UNBELIEVABLE. I am so glad DMN is not going to last much longer. They are such a waste of paper and internet space.

  18. BDK says:

    I can’t believe the amount of city resources this family wasted trying to hide something that is at the most, typical.

  19. JB says:

    Can someone please explain to me how no one went to jail?? If this had happened at anyone elses house there would have been jail involved. Maybe this will be on an episode of COPS!!!! I’m also assuming the Caraways will reimburse the city for this absolutely ridiculous expense?? What an embarrassment Dallas.

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