BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — A Salem firefighter is facing allegations that he shoved his wife across a room and threw a glass of wine at her during an argument late Sunday night.
Aaron Bingham, 30, of 22 Burnes Circle, Salem, pleaded not guilty to a charge of domestic assault and battery during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court.
Police were called to the couple’s home just after 11 p.m., where they were greeted by Bingham. He told officers that his wife had consumed most of a bottle of wine and “passed out.” When he yelled at her to get up, she called him a vulgarity and began hitting him in the head, before he shoved her and threw the remaining wine at her.
His wife, meanwhile, told police that she’d had just half a glass of wine, and had fallen asleep while reading her daughter a bedtime story.
Sgt. John Doyle noted an abrasion on her arm, which the woman said she suffered when Bingham shoved her across the room.
Doyle noted that the woman did not appear to be intoxicated.
Bingham, who did not appear to be injured, according to police, acknowledged to the officers that he’d had “a few beers” during the evening.
During Bingham’s arraignment yesterday prosecutors asked a judge to set bail at $500. Judge Michael Lauranzano rejected the request, releasing Bingham on his own recognizance, with conditions that include no abuse of his wife and that he obey any restraining order his wife might obtain.
Defense lawyer Mark Barry said his client has no prior record and was cooperative with police when they arrived.
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6.
Bingham was one of four recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be sworn in as a firefighter in July 2008, according to a story in the Salem News at the time.
Chief David Cody said yesterday that he is looking into the incident further and will have a meeting with Bingham this week before deciding what, if any, action to take regarding Bingham’s job status.
Earlier this year, on Superbowl Sunday, Bingham and his wife took part in a fundraiser for the American Lung Association in which they and several other firefighters and their spouses ran to the top of an 82-story Boston skyscraper.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.