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Paul Moore said he “would never intentionally do anything to hurt” his children, who were in the home.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The man who ran into his estranged wife's Vinton home with his sport-utility vehicle Tuesday is facing a protective order that deprives him of seeing his children, but said the crash was an accident.
Paul Moore, who works in Salem's electric department, said he went to his former home in the 1800 block of Meadows Court on Tuesday night in hopes of apologizing to his wife, Jacqueline Moore.
Jacqueline Moore lives at the home with the couple's two children. The couple have been separated since October.
Paul Moore said they had been arguing via text message the previous week and he wanted to speak with her face-to-face. He also wanted to ask if he could retrieve some items form the home.
On Tuesday, he arrived at the home while Jacqueline Moore was out to dinner with a friend. Jacqueline's grandmother, who was watching the two children, answered the door. Paul Moore said his visit clearly made her uncomfortable, and she would not let him inside.
He said he tried to create a calmer situation, but she told him to come back later when Jacqueline was at home. Paul Moore said he never used any threatening language and never beat on the home's windows.
According to Paul Moore, he decided the visit was causing too much trouble, so he walked back to the driveway and got in his Dodge Durango to leave.
"I got in my truck, I put my seat belt on and started the car. And the next thing I knew, I was in the garage," he said.
Paul Moore said he isn't sure if he mistakenly put the SUV in drive or if a faulty shifter popped from reverse to drive. But he said the crash, in which he smashed the garage door before ramming into a storage room in the home, was an accident.
"I love my kids more than anything in the world," Moore said. "I would never intentionally do anything to hurt them."
The Army veteran, who said he served a one-year tour of duty in Iraq and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, said the shock of driving through the garage disoriented him. He compared the feeling to the first time he heard an explosive go off nearby in a combat zone. After crashing into the house, he put the SUV into reverse, but ended up striking and damaging a basketball hoop in the driveway before a neighbor came to help him get out of the car.
"I just slid down the car," Paul Moore said. "I just sat there. I was in complete shock."
An emergency protective order that Jacqueline Moore took out after the crash bars Paul Moore from contacting anyone in the house and from seeing his children. He said the couple's argument the previous week involved his time with the children.
"We're going through a divorce," Paul Moore said. "And there have been a lot of things said, a lot of hateful things on both sides."
But while Jacqueline Moore said the couple's 8-year-old son texted her during the incident that someone was trying to break in, Paul Moore said the crash was not fueled by anger, but was an accident while he was attempting to defuse the situation.
Vinton police arrested Paul Moore following the crash, but released him later that night without placing charges. Vinton Police Chief Ben Cook said the investigation is ongoing.
The protective order, Moore said, will remain in place until at least March 12, when a hearing is scheduled .
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