Monday, February 27, 2012
The last time the Tucson Weekly wrote about state Rep. Daniel Patterson's issues on the home front ("The Family Man," Sept. 30, 2010), Patterson was in the middle of a re-election campaign while apparently evading service for an order of protection filed by his then-estranged wife, Jeneiene Schaffer. The couple had filed for divorce on Aug. 27, 2010 and on that same day, Schaffer filed for a restraining order against him.
Part of the problem then was that no one knew where Patterson was living, since he had moved out of the family's home less than six months after his wife had a double-mastectomy for breast cancer. Meanwhile, others in the Pima County Democratic Party establishment shared that he was spending more time with his campaign manager, Georgette Escobar.
Well, last week, Escobar filed her own restraining order against Patterson. She alleges that the state legislator is trying to evade service, just as he did to his ex-wife two years ago.
There is only one entrance to his current home, a gate at the driveway that is padlocked, she says, making it impossible for anyone to walk up to the door to serve him. She's hoping someone will serve him in Phoenix, since the Legislature is in session today. She says she has no money to hire a private processor.
Although Patterson has not returned calls from the Weekly, the Range sat down with Escobar this morning and received a copy of the restraining order.
Escobar, visibly shaken, said a week ago, she moved out of the house she shares with Patterson—he owns the home—located near Santa Rita Park. She had moved some of her belongings out and into storage, and returned to get additional items on Friday, Feb. 24. Allegedly, Patterson blocked Escobar's car in the driveway with his own car, and locked the gate.
Escobar claims Patterson told her he'd let her out when he wanted to. Eventually he did, and as she started to drive away, he flagged her down and told her she'd have to get permission from him to return to the property. When she started driving off again, she saw that her dog, Jake, was running through the alley, and she called him to get into the car. Escobar says as she helped the dog in, Patterson allegedly ran up to the car, grabbed the dog by the collar, and grabbed her by the arm, leaving bruises on her upper right arm — which she showed to us. He also allegedly bent her fingers back to remove her fingers from her dog's collar and grabbed the dog by the collar, choking him and throwing him out of the car, before he twisted Escobar's arms and threw her down to the ground.
Tucson Police were called to the scene by Tucson Parks and Recreation employees who saw the encounter from the park.
Police records are unavailable today; the office is not open on Monday.
Escobar says she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and an anxiety disorder. She adopted Jake as a therapy dog and was training him to be her service animal.
Escobar asked for the restraining order because Patterson has allegedly threatened to harm and kill her, and she also needs to have him escorted off the property so she can get the rest of her belongings. She claims most of the furniture in the house belongs to her.
"I really can’t comment on the investigation, and I am not trying to try him in the media. I encouraged him to be served, because he has 5 to 10 days to request to have a hearing, and the judge will hear his side of the case ... He’s not willing to submit to process to go through that proceeding," Escobar says.
Escobar also claims that Patterson owes her money and that she pays rent to live at the house and had paid rent for February, which entitles her to have access to the house to retrieve the rest of her belongings. She also wants to be paid the remainder of what he owes her for the work she's done as his campaign manager.
"I am a lawyer. I wanted to volunteer in politics and had relocated (to Tucson) from a shelter. I’m disabled, so I thought I’d meet more quality and caring people (in the Democratic Party) who were compassionate," she says.
Escobar says that when Patterson first started living with her, still married, his wife was in the hospital having a double mastectomy. She claims Patterson told her his wife had a slight illness and was having a small procedure.
"(Meanwhile), he was having the time of his life at my house. I feel really guilty and bad about that," she says.