Jan. 28--An Horry County police officer was arrested on criminal domestic violence charges after being accused of firing a shot during an argument with his wife.
Patrol Officer Nick Petrone was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center Wednesday, and a bond hearing for him is pending, according to jail officials.
Petrone, 40, an employee of the department since February 2006, has been suspended without pay, according to Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier.
Petrone, who has been in police custody since Sunday, is the third Horry County police officer arrested since December.
Police said that on Sunday Petrone grabbed a loaded semi-automatic handgun and fired a shot while friends were at his home, making his wife afraid for her life after the two argued in their Loris- area home, according to the arrest warrant.
Petrone denied the allegations when interviewed by Horry County police.
An incident report said that Petrone was put in emergency protective custody immediately after the incident and was taken Sunday to Conway Medical Center to be evaluated.
Police said Petrone and his wife argued after she went inside to cook dinner, while he was drinking and hanging out in the garage with friends.
She told officers that Petrone became upset because she wasn't hanging out, and tried to talk her into coming back outside, according to the incident report.
After she told him to, "Just stop," Petrone allegedly went to the garage and began breaking bar stools and messing up the light over the pool table, according to the report.
His wife then went upstairs to hide his duty belt and his service weapon in a closet, because she was scared.
Petrone followed her to the bedroom, went to his night stand and took out a pistol, then went down the stairs, the police report stated.
His wife said she heard a shot as she was trying to leave through another exit with the children, and she said she heard Petrone say he "couldn't live like this."
She then called police.
The woman told officers that Sunday's behavior was out of character for her husband.
Police found Petrone sitting in the yard and found the pistol in his front pocket.
He told officers he made no threats to himself or his wife and did not fire his weapon.
Petrone said he only damaged his property, but did not break any laws.
He said he just went for a walk and always carries a gun when he leaves the house.
When interviewed, the children said they heard a gunshot.
In December, two other Horry County officers, Lance Cpl. David Rexroad and Cpl. Wesley Harris, were charged with obtaining goods under false pretenses.
The two are accused of receiving funds for working special assignment in the Prestwick community but not actually reporting to duty.
The officers turned themselves in and were each charged with breach/obtaining property under false pretenses, at value more than $1,000, but less than $5,000.
They both lost their jobs with Horry County.