Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Domestic violence complaint re-filed against Graham fireman who has now been fired


A Burlington woman who had filed a complaint for a domestic violence protective order against a then-Graham fireman – but agreed to dismiss it when the case went to court on May 8 – has re-filed her complaint.

The latest complaint, filed Friday by Courtney Wrenn, 36, white female, of Burlington against Robert Patterson, II, 50, white male of Burlington now includes a seven-page narrative in which she admits to having a yearlong extramarital affair with Patterson, who she claims then threatened to expose the “illicit” relationship if she ended it.

Meanwhile, Patterson confirmed for The Alamance News that he had been fired from the Graham fire department. It is unclear whether his termination was related to the court case.
An earlier complaint filed by Wrenn – outlining many of the same allegations against Patterson – was heard in Alamance County civil court on May 8 but dismissed by Wrenn’s attorney, Robert Jennings. The plaintiff’s attorney called just one witness to testify and was unsuccessful in attempting to introduce into evidence any of the text messages purportedly at the center of the case.

“I found myself in a very vulnerable spot and [Patterson] and I were in an emotional/dating relationship from the end of 2021 into 2022, a relationship that was illicit on my part because I was married and living with my husband,” Wrenn acknowledges in her seven-page narrative she has filed with a new complaint for a domestic violence protective order against Patterson.

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Wrenn is seeking a one-year protective order to prohibit Patterson from coming anywhere near her, her husband, family, their places of employment, and their church, Integrity Church at 2420 Corporation Parkway in Burlington, where Wrenn’s father-in-law serves as the pastor, according to her complaint.

Unlike her first complaint for a domestic violence protective order (DVPO), Courtney Wrenn alleges in her re-filed complaint that Patterson attempted to blackmail her into continuing the affair after she broke it off in 2022.

“[Patterson] told me he would ‘unload’ his phone and that everyone would know what we had been doing,” Wrenn writes. “‘Everyone’ in this case included the people at the dental office where I worked, which would be devastating to me because [he] had been our patient and employees could be fired for having a relationship with a patient.”

Wrenn also reveals in her narrative accompanying the DVPO that she was ultimately fired from her job shortly after her relationship with Patterson came to light.

“When the defendant threatened to ‘unload’ his phone and reveal everything, this was particularly mortifying because our relationship had been intimate,” Wrenn writes. “We had sent each other many private and intimate text messages, photographs, and videos, and I had sent him an intimate photograph that was supposed to be just for him.

“I knew, and [Patterson] knew I knew, the extent to which he could humiliate me,” Wrenn asserts in the narrative she has filed with her complaint for a DVPO. “From the summer of 2022 into October of that year, my mental health worsened to the point where I felt physically sick. I felt dark, trapped, hopeless, and completely alone. At the same time, I felt like I deserved it because of what I had done.”

Wrenn says Patterson gave her a deadline to leave her husband– or he’d reveal the affair
Wrenn claims that Patterson gave her an ultimatum to end her marriage – and “set September 1, 2022 as a deadline” but she was able to stall him, until she reached her breaking point and confessed the extramarital affair to her husband, Jacob Wrenn, on October 12, 2022.

That’s when, according to Courtney Wrenn’s complaint, the alleged stalking and harassment by Patterson ramped up, as the then-Graham fireman supposedly sent multiple texts, from multiple numbers, to Jacob Wrenn, alluding to his wife’s affair.

In one message that Patterson allegedly sent Jacob Wrenn on October 19, 2022, he stated, “This relationship officially started on October 23, 2021. And it was constant, every week up until last Wednesday,” according to the seven-page narrative Courtney Wrenn filed with her complaint for a protective order.

“I revealed my infidelity to Jacob, who was of course devastated and told me to leave,” Courtney Wrenn writes, adding that, with nowhere to go, she stayed overnight in the office of the dental practice where she worked at the time but was fired the following day.

According to Wrenn’s complaint, earlier in her relationship with the fireman, Patterson had placed signs outside her office – and later along the road leading to her home – which read, “Hugs,” “Kisses,” and “I Love You More.” Those signs reappeared after she ended the affair, on October 23, 2022, she claims.

“[Patterson] had apparently saved these signs for close to a year, and he had placed them so that both I and my husband would see them on our way to church that morning. He knew that I was back in the home with Jacob.”

Courtney Wrenn contends that Patterson apparently continued to carry a torch for her and continuously made his presence known, wherever she and her husband went – at least until she filed the initial complaint for a DVPO late March of this year – leaving her “always on edge and anxious that [he] will appear or contact me.”

Wrenn claims that this unwanted behavior persisted, nonetheless. “On March 27, 2023 [Patterson] passed by church and my husband’s work 3 separate times throughout the day,” she writes in her narrative for the complaint. “This is what led me to seek a Domestic Violence Protective Order…in an effort to protect myself from further harassment and let me go on with my life. I only consented to the dismissal of that action on May 8, 2023 be-
cause I knew I could refile and it appeared to be the best course of action if I was to get a permanent, 1-year DVPO.

Wrenn claims Patterson followed her through Graham after the hearing on May 8
“After we left court on May 8, [Patterson] and his girlfriend rode by, waving at me and my husband,” Wrenn writes. “When we left the courthouse about 15 minutes later [Patterson] got behind me and followed me through Graham…I felt like the defendant was stalking me again.”

Wrenn says she was notified by the city of Graham on May 17 that Patterson had been fired from the Graham fire department, adding that she now fears that Patterson “has nothing holding him back from harassing [me] and my husband.”

The Alamance News requested from the city the reasons for Patterson’s termination – a requirement under state law when an employee is terminated.

City manager Megan Garner responded: “The termination of Mr. Patterson’s employment has not been finalized as it is the subject of a pending grievance and request for name clearing hearing. Once the City has reviewed this matter, a final decision will be made, and should the decision to terminate become final, the documentation of the final decision will be released pursuant to your request.”

A hearing on Wrenn’s newly re-filed complaint against Patterson is currently scheduled for Monday morning in Alamance County civil court.

The court file lists Patterson’s address as 2629 Catherine Drive, Burlington.

Wrenn’s address is listed as 552 Indian Valley Drive in Burlington.

There appear to be no previous, current, or pending criminal charges against Patterson, based on Alamance County court records.

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