Lawsuit filed against Louisville businessman accused of choking girlfriend
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville woman has filed a lawsuit against Chris Thieneman, a former candidate for Louisville Metro mayor and Kentucky Senate, claiming he "tried to strangle her" during a Sept. 16 altercation.
Thieneman has been charged with second-degree wanton endangerment and assault 4th degree. He has pleaded not guilty and been released on his own recognizance. Thieneman is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 18.
Frank Mascagni, an attorney representing Thieneman, said the woman was the aggressor and claimed the charges have no merit.
"I'm going to try the case if they don't dismiss it and I will win it," he said in an interview Monday.
The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court on Friday, claims the woman and Thieneman began arguing in the car and she stopped the vehicle at North Ewing Avenue and Brownsboro Road after he got out and took her cell phone.
When the woman, who is not being named by WDRB because she is an alleged victim, walked to her work to call police, Thieneman followed and pushed his way into the business, according to the suit. Once inside, the suit alleges, Thieneman shoved the woman and while wrestling for the phone, put his arm around her neck and tried to strangle her.
A police report of the incident gives a similar account, alleging the woman was able to get away and call police, who arrested Thieneman.
The suit claims the woman sustained physical injuries as well as "fright, shame, emotional distress, anguish, embarrassment, humiliation" and lost property. According to the arrest report, after the woman left her car in the middle of the road to go call police, the vehicle was stolen.
But Mascagni said the cell phone belonged to Thieneman and he got out of the vehicle to get away from the woman, who followed and attacked him.
Mascagni said Thieneman was the one who called police after the two later walked back to find her vehicle had been stolen. When police arrived, the woman claimed she had been assaulted, Mascagni said.
Police later recovered the tan 2006 Toyota Corolla on the 2500 block of Lindsay Ave.
Thomas Clay, who is representing the woman, said he is not sure who called police but, upon arrival, they heard from both sides what happened and noticed the woman had visible injuries.
"The police didn't believe she was the attacker or they would have locked her up," Clay said. And Clay said Thieneman may have been listed as the cell phone's owner, and paid for it, but the woman used it.
In the arrest report, the woman says this was not the first time Thieneman has assaulted her. The report says the two used to live together.
Thieneman, a former U of L football player, ran against Hal Heiner in the 2010 Republican primary for Louisville mayor and against state Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, for the 37th District seat.
The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as a jury trial.
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