- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2020

BEL AIR, Md. (AP) - A police chief in Maryland has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of physical and verbal fights with his estranged wife and teenage son.

Charles A. Moore Jr., chief of Bel Air police, was placed on paid leave after he was served a temporary protective order Tuesday, news outlets reported. Deputy Chief Richard Peschek will serve as chief in Moore’s absence, according to a statement from town officials.

Moore and his wife separated in 2016 and live at different homes, according to court documents obtained by The Aegis, a division of The Baltimore Sun. In December, Moore and his adult son went to his wife’s house, where Moore allegedly got into an argument with his teenage son, and attempted to choke the boy after being punched by the teen, court documents state.

Jason Silverstein, Moore’s attorney, said that his client is the victim and was trying to defend himself, the newspaper reported.

Moore was also accused of sending “belittling text messages” to his wife and threatening to to “bash her head,” according to the documents.

Moore cannot contact or visit his wife and teenage son and was compelled to relinquish his firearms, including his service weapon, according to the protective order. The order is effective until Tuesday, when there’s another hearing in the case.

Bel Air Town Administrator Jesse Bane said the town will decide what to do next after Tuesday’s hearing.

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