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Sub CO fired following domestic abuse arrest

Aug. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Cmdr. Chris Tarsa, commanding officer of the attack submarine Newport News, was relieved of command following an arrest Sunday for domestic assault and battery, according to a Navy report obtained by Navy Times.
Cmdr. Chris Tarsa, commanding officer of the attack submarine Newport News, was relieved of command following an arrest Sunday for domestic assault and battery, according to a Navy report obtained by Navy Times. (Navy)
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The commanding officer of the attack submarine Newport News was arrested Sunday and charged with domestic assault and battery, according to a Navy report obtained by Navy Times.

Cmdr. Chris Tarsa allegedly got into a verbal and physical altercation with an individual described as a “civilian spouse” in his car on Saturday in Chesapeake, Virginia, the report said.

Police issued an arrest warrant that day and Tarsa turned himself in, the report said, before being released. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Military and civilian protective orders were issued for his spouse, the report said.

Lt. Timothy Hawkins, spokesman for Submarine Group 2, said in a statement to Navy Times that the Navy is cooperating with Chesapeake police.

“The Navy is aware that Cmdr. Tarsa was arrested by local authorities Aug. 10 in relation to an alleged domestic altercation,” Hawkins said. “The Navy does not comment on ongoing investigations to protect the integrity of the investigative process and the rights of all persons involved. No additional information will be released at this time.”

Tarsa was relieved of command Friday by Capt. Paul Snodgrass, head of Submarine Squadron Six. Cmdr. Roger Meyer, the squadron’s deputy commander, will take command of Newport News until a permanent replacement arrives.

Hawkins declined to comment on what other disciplinary actions Tarsa might face stemming from the charges.

“It would be inappropriate to speculate on any further actions by the Navy given the investigative process is ongoing,” Hawkins said.

An email to Tarsa seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Tarsa, 41, is a 1995 Naval Academy graduate. His previous command assignments include the attack boats Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Albany. He also served as executive officer of the ballistic missile submarine Tennessee.

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