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School board member arrested in alleged choking of daughter

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By AJ Vicens

Vince Chowdhury, South Jeffco’s representative on the school board and a Democratic candidate for state House District 22, was arrested June 17 on suspicion of slapping and choking his 16-year-old daughter.

Chowdhury, 48, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and harassment, and a protective order was issued prohibiting him from contacting his daughter or wife. He apparently then violated that order by sending his wife two e-mails after being released from jail.

An arrest affidavit gives the following account of the incident June 17: Chowdhury came home and was honking his horn in the driveway so his wife or daughter would open the garage door. His wife, Katherine, opened the garage, and said he came inside very upset. She and their daughter apologized, but Chowdhury allegedly started slapping his daughter. She told deputies that as she was backing away from him, he allegedly started to choke her, so she bit his hand. When her mother intervened, she ran upstairs and locked herself in a room.

Chowdhury told deputies he “lost it” when his wife and daughter didn’t hear him honking the horn, and he admitted to slapping his daughter. He denied choking her and said the bite mark on his hand was from when he was slapping her.

Chowdhury bonded out of jail and reportedly sent his wife two e-mails June 18, violating the protection order. His wife reported the contact to police, and Chowdhury was issued a summons for violating a protective order and taken back to jail. He bonded out again a short time later.

Pam Russell, spokesperson for the Jeffco DA’s office, said Chowdhury has a pretrial conference July 8.

“It is a very personal and family matter,” Chowdhury said July 2. “I have served this community for 15 years and will continue to serve this community, and this has nothing to do with that service.” He referred all further questions to his attorney, Dave Thomas.

Thomas, the former Jeffco DA, said he and Chowdhury are going to follow the process.

“We’re going to do whatever we can to abide by all the court rulings,” Thomas said July 2. “We’re just going to work through the system and see what the deputy district attorney has in mind, and go from there.” Thomas said Chowdhury will follow all restrictions that were imposed as conditions of his bond, including obeying the protective order.

Scott Benefield, president of the Jeffco Board of Education, said the district had notified him of the arrest but that the board is in recess and hasn’t discussed the issue or any possible implications.

“It’s a personal issue with him, and I don’t think the board will do anything until he’s … done with the court process,” Benefield said July 2.

The board meets again in early August. Benefield said that any board member can call a meeting at any time, but he doesn’t think that’s necessary yet.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.