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Police tape: Dallas mayor said his wife held knife

By DANNY ROBBINS
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 23, 2011; 5:49 PM

DALLAS -- Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway tells police in a taped interview that his wife, a state representative, brought out a knife during an altercation between them that began merely as an argument over throwing away old aprons.

The tape, which Caraway fought to keep secret, was made public Wednesday after a judge refused to issue a temporary injunction that would have blocked the city of Dallas from releasing it.

"She just went too far tonight," Caraway said on the recording, made by police after the Jan. 2 domestic disturbance call to the couple's Dallas home.

Caraway, who was mayor pro tem at the time, told police during the 20-minute conversation that he and his wife, Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, were arguing over tossing out the aprons after a football-watching party. After he barricaded himself in the family's game room, she slid a knife through a crack in the closed door, he said.

"I don't think Barbara has intentions of hurting me, but, in the midst of a fit of rage, you never know what happens," he told police.

Caraway, who testified Tuesday that he would have spoken differently if he'd known he was being recorded, says on the tape that he and his wife argued often. He attributed that to her stature as a state legislator.

"(It's) not about another man," he said. "I really think it's power. Some people can't handle it."

Caraway also tells police on the tape that he thinks his wife, to whom he has been married for 16 years, may have a "chemical imbalance."

A spokeswoman for Mallory Caraway, who has been a state representative since 2006, said the legislator was attending to House business Wednesday and wasn't immediately available for comment. When asked about the tape Wednesday on the House floor, Mallory Caraway declined to comment.

After the recording was released, Caraway issued a statement repeating his view that he sees no public interest in the recording but respects the court's ruling. He added that he'd spent the morning dealing with issues aimed at "moving Dallas forward." He said the statement would be his final comment on the matter.

Caraway became mayor last month when Tom Leppert resigned to run for the U.S. Senate. Although he isn't seeking the job permanently in a May 14 election, he is running to retain his seat on the City Council.

His conversation with police occurred in an unmarked police vehicle that contained a recording device. Members of the Dallas Police Department's Special Investigations Unit had been dispatched to Caraway's home by Chief David Brown. Caraway testified that he called Brown as a "friend" and never intended to have police come to his house.

No charges were filed as a result of the incident.

Caraway sought the injunction to keep the tape from becoming public after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott informed the city that it had to release the tape and other material generated by police.

When first questioned about the police visit to his home by The Dallas Morning News, Caraway said the incident involved two individuals named Arthur and Archie who were arguing over the football game. However, he later acknowledged at a City Council meeting that the dispute was between him and his wife.

As mayor pro tem, Caraway came under criticism after he presented the key to the city of Dallas earlier this year to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in the week leading up to the Super Bowl in nearby Arlington.

Leppert took exception to that, saying that honoring the player who spent 18 months in prison for dogfighting wasn't sanctioned by the mayor's office and wasn't considered official.

Caraway, an advertising and consulting company owner, was elected to the City Council in 2007. During his early years on the council, he started a campaign aimed at banning the wearing of excessively baggy pants. But the "Pull Your Pants Up" campaign hit a snag when a song written to promote the issue contained lyrics equating the style to gay sex.

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Associated Press writer Jay Root in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.

© 2011 The Associated Press