March 18, 2008
__Engstrom allegedly pushed mother-in-law__
p. College professor Eric Engstrom was arrested March 5 on one count of simple assault after allegedly shoving his mother-in-law in his James City residence.
p. The victim, Judith Walthen, had been looking after Engstrom’s son. Engstrom and his wife are separated, but his wife and son reside in a house he owns.
p. According to Walthen’s police statement, Engstrom appeared in the house without first giving notice that he would be visiting. She said he then repeatedly ignored her questioning and went straight to talk with his son, who, according to Engstrom’s report, had been homesick.
p. Walthen then approached Engstrom with a phone, having called his wife to mediate the situation. After she refused to leave the room at his request, she said he shoved her, grabbed the phone and threw it. At this point, he allegedly grabbed her and pushed her out of the room.
Walthen said that a recent surgery had made the struggle especially painful. Officers responded at approximately 9:52 p.m.
Engstrom has taught as an assistant professor of biology at the College since August 2005. Biology chair and professor Paul Heideman could not comment on any possible change in hiring status based on recent events.
Engstrom declined to comment.
__EDITOR’S NOTE: Some comments were removed because they were determined to be potentially libelous or unnecessarily damaging.__