- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

DENVER (AP) - A Denver police officer and his wife have been charged with assault and child abuse after a brawl at a cookout.

Arapahoe County prosecutors on Thursday charged Officer Jeremy Ownbey and his wife Jamie Ownbey with misdemeanors stemming from the fight May 19. An argument turned violent between the Ownbeys and another couple after heavy drinking, Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania said.

The homeowner, who is also a Denver police officer, asked the Ownbeys to leave, at which point Jamie Ownbey struck the other wife from behind, Fania said. Then, the officers started fighting.

Investigators say the officers acknowledged that they and their wives trade sex partners, but they denied that sex sparked the brawl. The fight ended when the homeowner managed to break free and retrieve a gun. Jeremy Ownbey said the other officer pointed the weapon at him, but police could not prove it, police said.

Jeremy Ownbey then drove away after a night of drinking but later returned to the home to talk to Aurora police officers, Fania said. The Aurora Police Department has launched an internal investigation as to why its officers did not conduct a sobriety test on Jeremy Ownbey and instead drove him home.

No arrests were made that night because the case warranted further investigation by a detective, Fania said.

Both Denver police officers are on desk duty while that department conducts its own internal probe, police Cmdr. Matt Murray said.

Prosecutors say the Ownbeys also left their two young children home alone during the dinner, prompting the child abuse charge.

There is no listed number for the Ownbeys. They are due in court July 22.

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