Oolitic man arrested at gunpoint while mother shelters her children

OOLITIC – An Oolitic man was arrested after police say he injured a woman during a domestic fight on Friday.

According to Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to the 600 block of 9th Street in Oolitic after a report of a verbal altercation. The caller reported he could hear a person yelling “put the knife down”.

When police arrived they could hear arguing inside of the apartment. A deputy knocked on the door and no one would answer. The arguing continued and police forced their way inside the apartment.

Bryce Gerkin

When police arrived they found 30-year-old Bryce Gerkin standing in front of a woman who was in the corner of a child’s room and sitting behind the woman were two of her daughters. Police say the woman was sheltering the children.

Gerkin was arrested at gunpoint. He cooperated with the police and was handcuffed.

Police reported the woman had a bloody nose and mouth. 

The woman initially did not want to speak to police in fear of getting Gerkin in trouble. 

The woman told police the argument started because Gerkin wanted her to come home but she was bathing her children. Gerkin took the woman’s phone and refused to give it back to her. He then grabbed her arm demanding her passcode to her cell phone. Gerkin proceeded to threaten the woman stating he would kill her if she ever left him. The woman’s grandfather attempted to intervene but Gerkin told the man “if he didn’t back off he would kill them”.

The woman continued to say she didn’t want to get Gerkin in trouble because she was fearful of what he might do.

One of the children told the police, “daddy hit mommy first”. The woman then attempted to quiet the child.

The woman finally admitted that Gerkin hit her in the neck and nose and grabbed her arm. 

Police say there were marks around her neck and arm and she suffered a bloody nose.

Gerkin told police the woman attempted to choke him with a phone cord, however, police didn’t see any marks on his neck. However, there were scratch marks on his belly and chest area and behind his left ear.

Gerkin was arrested on charges of domestic battery.

If you or someone you know is involved in a domestic violence situation and needs help, call Hoosier Hills PACT 24-hour crisis line at 1-888-883-1959 or visit their website at https://www.pactchangeslives.com/.

The agency can provide emergency assistance with shelter to those in domestic violence situations.  Hoosier Hills Pact also provides assistance with court advocacy, protective orders, education, outreach programs, support groups, and more.