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Zephyrhills High employee arrested on battery charge

A Zephyrhills High School instructional assistant was arrested Sunday and charged with domestic battery after Pasco deputies say she roughed up her estranged husband and smashed his truck's headlights with a baseball bat.

Catherine Griffin, 48, and her husband, Donald Griffin, 47, got into a fight Sunday night when Donald came by her Forbes Road house to pick up some papers for his attorney, according to the arrest report. Catherine Griffin grabbed her husband's shirt and knocked him to the ground, the report said.

Donald Griffin wrestled with his wife to stop her from kicking him and then dragged her across the room so she couldn't block the door, he told deputies.

Catherine Griffin then grabbed his duffel bag, where he stores his gun, and hid in the bedroom, the report said. Griffin told deputies she didn't know what her husband would do if he had the gun.

Deputies said Donald Griffin broke down the bedroom door, grabbed his bag and left the house. That's when his wife ran out of the house and allegedly smashed the truck's headlights with a baseball bat so he couldn't leave.

She then drove to a nearby grocery store to call the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

Deputies charged her with simple domestic battery and transported her to the Land O'Lakes jail. Her bail has not been set.

Zephyrhills High School principal Gerri Painter said she was not aware of the charges against Griffin, who assisted with the school's driver education program.

"She has been an exceptional employee," Painter said. "This is out of character, as far as I'm concerned."

Griffin has worked for the Pasco school system since 2000, according to county records.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Zephyrhills High employee arrested on battery charge 09/08/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:20am]
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