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Council member's loud spats draw police to his home

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have been called twice in the past year to City Council member Jeff Danner's house in response to domestic quarrels, records show.

The second dispute was so loud an off-duty police officer in the area called 911.

Danner, a former construction manager, told police his wife, Robyn, was trying to ruin his political career. The council's vice chairman, Danner was elected in 2005 and is expected to run for re-election in 2009. He is in line to become council chairman in January.

Robyn Danner, a real estate agent for Tourtelot Brothers in St. Petersburg, said police should not have gotten involved in their private matters.

"In no way did I ever feel threatened or think that Jeff would harm me," she said in a statement Tuesday.

The first 911 call came at 3:24 a.m. on Oct. 28. A woman could be heard screaming in the background before the call was disconnected. Robyn Danner called police seconds later and said she and her husband were having a fight and she had raised her voice. She told police "it was the wrong thing to do," records show.

Police sent an officer to the couple's Historic Kenwood home because protocol demands dispatch take every precaution in domestic disputes, said Bill Wilson, the department's records manager.

Police did not find signs of violence when they arrived at the Danner household. The couple refused to tell police why they were fighting and police took no additional action.

Less than four months later, police returned to the house.

On Feb. 10, an off-duty Tampa police officer called 911 about 10 p.m. to report an argument between the Danners.

Four officers were sent to the house. They found Mrs. Danner standing in the street crying. She told police she and her husband had been drinking and began to argue over "who knows what," according to police reports.

Her knees were scraped. She told police she fell while running from her house.

Police found Jeff Danner in the house. He told them his wife was "crazy" and was trying to "ruin his career as a public official," according to police records. His forearm had a small cut. He told police he got the minor injury while trying to keep one of his daughters in the house.

That daughter told police her parents argued for an hour and at one point her dad held her mom around the waist and arms and would not let her leave the house. (The St. Petersburg Times is not naming the daughter because she is a minor.)

Police stood by as the daughter and Mrs. Danner packed a bag. The women were taken to a friend's house for the night.

The Danners marked their 18th wedding anniversary four days later, on Valentine's Day.

Jeff Danner, 48, declined to comment on the domestic quarrels. Mrs. Danner, 50, said it was wrong of her to call police.

"Jeff and I have been together for 25 years," she wrote in an e-mail to the Times. "Like most couples we have gone through difficult times."

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or csilva@sptimes.com.

Council member's loud spats draw police to his home 10/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:26pm]
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