Salem man arrested for battery against fiancée’s young son

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Dustin Welch, 30, Salem, was arrested early Sunday morning after being arrested for battery against his fiancée’s 12-year-old son.

Trooper Dustin Whitaker reported to a home on Nubain Road in Salem to assist Washington County Deputy Brad Naugle after a woman, who had fled the home with her children to a neighbor’s, reported that Welch had grabbed her son by the neck and slammed him on the ground during an argument between her and Welch.

The woman said Welch had been at a bar in Salem and had gotten into a fight. A bouncer gave Welch a ride home and when he arrived, he tried to get into the gun safe. When the woman told him she wouldn’t let him get into the safe, Welch tried to get into the safe by kicking it repeatedly. She told officers Welch had said something about wanting to use the weapon on himself. She said Welch got into a vehicle and she closed and locked the door behind him. However, Welch kicked in the front door and again tried to get into the gun safe.

As she and Welch argued, her son, 12, tried to calm Welch down. She said Welch then grabbed the boy by his neck and slammed him onto the ground. She got the boy away from Welch and corralled her children in one room before taking them all to a neighbor’s house to call the police. Whitaker saw marks on the boy’s neck and the boy confirmed his mother’s story.

She said Welch “never gets that way” when he drinks and this was the first time he’d been aggressive, but “no one puts their hands on my kids.” Also in the home where her 10-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter.

She became upset as she told her story, saying she didn’t want Welch to go to jail because of her.

Whitaker went to see that other officers were speaking with Welch outside their house. Welch said he had been in a bar fight and wanted to come home to get his guns. He admitted to pushing the 12-year-old in the abdomen to make him get away.

The officers placed Welch in handcuffs and took him to the Washington County Jail. When the arrived, Welch became angry and demanded to know where the marks were on the 12-year-old. Whitaker said he didn’t have to explain that to him, which resulted in Welch yelling profanities and saying Whitaker “had nothing better to do than pick on him.”

Jail staff administered a preliminary breath test and Welch blew a .248. He was charged with battery where the defendant is 18 or older and the victim is younger than 14.


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