The day before Sarah Palin offered her high-stakes, high-profile endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, her son Track Palin was arrested on domestic violence charges after a fight with girlfriend, who said she was concerned he would take his own life with an AR-15 rifle.
On Monday at around 10 p.m. local time, police in Wasilla, Alaska, responded to a disturbance at Sarah Palin’s home, where Track, 26, an Iraq combat team veteran, lives with his parents. According to a police affidavit posted by KTVA Alaska, a woman, later identified as Track’s girlfriend Jordan Loewe, called 911 to say Track had punched her in the face and had a firearm. Track also called 911, saying Loewe was drunk. When an officer arrived on the scene, he found Track outside, talking on the phone.
“I observed that the male had a visible injury to his right eye and the area around his eye,” Officer Andrew Kappler wrote. “His eyes were bloodshot and I detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and person. Upon contacting Palin, he was uncooperative, belligerent, and evasive with my initial line of questions.”
Track was asked why 911 was called, and where the woman who had called 911 was.
“Palin stated that he didn’t know where she was and denied that there was a firearm involved, but did state that there were several spread throughout the residence,” Kappler wrote. “Due to Palin’s escalating hostility, the unknown whereabouts of the female 911 caller, and Officer safety, Palin was placed into handcuffs.”
Officers searched the home, and found Loewe “hiding and crying underneath a bed.” She told her side of the story.
“She and her boyfriend of one year, Track Palin, left a different residence together and were arguing the whole way home,” Kappler wrote. “Once they got to his home they argued in the car, then in the driveway. They were screaming and he was calling her names.”
Though she had not yet called 911, Loewe said, she told Track she had called police “in an attempt to calm him down and to scare him away from ‘touching her,’” as Kappler wrote. The strategy allegedly did not work.
“Palin approached Loewe and struck her on the left side of her head near her eye with a closed fist,” the affidavit read. “Loewe got on the ground in a fetal position because she didn’t know what else he would do. Palin then kicked Loewe on the right knee.”
The argument escalated. Track went inside the home and emerged with a gun, Loewe alleged, yelling “Do you think I’m a p–sy?” and “Do you think I won’t do it?”
“Loewe stated Palin ‘cocked the gun’ and was holding the rifle out next to him with the his [sic] right hand near the trigger and his left hand near the barrel, with the barrel just away from his face pointed to the side,” Kappler wrote. “Loewe was concerned that he would shoot himself and ran outside and around the house. She didn’t see where Palin went, so she went inside and up the stairs, where she hid under a bed.”
Officers found “the involved firearm,” an unloaded AR-15, and “observed Loewe to have bruising and swelling around her left eye” as well as “a small red area near her knee.”
The officers also heard Track’s side of the story.
“Palin stated that Loewe was his girlfriend and that the disturbance tonight stemmed from Loewe maintaining contact with an ex-boyfriend,” Kappler wrote. “This angered Palin.”
Track told police the couple argued throughout the night — at dinner, while hanging out at Track’s “sister’s house,” and while checking out property nearby that Track was thinking of buying. Then, Track alleged, Loewe “drove drunk” back to his sister’s house. When the couple returned to his parents’ home, they “continued a verbal only argument.”
“When I asked Palin about the injury to his face, he stated that at some point Loewe ‘threw a bow’ [elbow] striking him in the face,” Kappler wrote. “Palin never made it clear exactly how or where the injury occurred. Palin also denied using a firearm during the course of their argument.”
Palin’s blood alcohol level, measured at the scene, was 0.189, according to the affidavit. He was charged with assault, interfering with a domestic violence report, and misconduct involving weapons.
In an email to the Associated Press, Palin family attorney John Tiemessen asked for respect for the family’s privacy “as Track receives the help that he and many of our returning veterans need.” Track enlisted on Sept. 11, 2007 — without telling his parents — and served a year in Iraq with the Army in 2008.
“He’s a good kid and a good soldier and he’d like to remain anonymous,” Col. Burt Thompson, who commanded the Alaska-based 25th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, known as the “Arctic Wolves,” said in 2008.
Track Palin’s troubles have made news in the past. In 2014, Track, allegedly drunk, was found with “blood around his mouth and on his hands” at a party in Anchorage after “some guys were talking rudely to his sisters [Bristol and Willow] making them cry,” according to one report. Though Track initially did not want to speak with police about the incident, he did at the urging of Sarah Palin, who was present; Bristol was also reportedly part of the brawl.