Visiting doctor accused of choking his daughter |

Visiting doctor accused of choking his daughter

An emergency-room doctor arrested last week is accused of terrorizing his children during a family vacation in Vail, according to an arrest warrant obtained Thursday by the Daily Camera.The warrant said Rick Lee Brubaker, who is on leave from Avista Hospital in Louisville, chased his 9-year-old daughter around a hotel room while she held his infant daughter, then threw the baby on the bed and choked the crying 9-year-old until she could no longer make a sound. “I could have got killed,” the girl told investigators who, according to the warrant, asked what she thought would have happened if her father hadn’t let go.Brubaker was allegedly angry because the 9-year-old didn’t want to put on her shoes to go to the pool, the warrant said.The children’s mother, Marcia-Sue Brubaker, wrote to Vail police in January to report the Nov. 19 incident at the Marriott Mountain Resort.She said Brubaker ran after the girl, slapping her on the head and face and accidentally hitting the baby she was holding. When he caught the girl, he threw the infant on the bed before “whipping” the 9-year-old with his belt and choking her, according to the arrest warrant. Marks were left on the girl’s neck, the mother told police.Brubaker, 54, was arrested at work May 26 on suspicion of second-degree assault, felony menacing and two counts of misdemeanor child abuse. He took voluntary leave, according to hospital officials.The family has six children, at least three of whom backed up their mother’s claims when interviewed at Blue Sky Bridge family advocacy center, according to the warrant.The 10-year-old daughter estimated that her sister was choked for five to seven seconds, it said.”It made me feel sad because she might die,” the older girl told investigators.On Dec. 9, a “distressed” child called 911 from the Brubaker residence in Niwot, but the responding deputy found there was not enough evidence to make an arrest, according to a Boulder County sheriff’s report. It said the deputy referred the case to Boulder County Department of Social Services, which will not comment on individual cases.The Brubakers have been embroiled in a domestic battle in Boulder County District Court since last year. Earlier this month, Marcia-Sue Brubaker lost her fight to declare that they are common-law spouses. She is asking that the judge reconsider his decision.If convicted on all the criminal counts he faces in Eagle County, Rick Brubaker could face up to nine years in prison plus 21/2 years in jail.He also is facing the possibility of losing his Colorado medical license.The Colorado Board of Medical Examiners, which issues the licenses, opens its own investigation when it learns of criminal allegations against any license-holder, said Geoff Hier, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Hier said he cannot comment on open investigations or even verify whether one is under way.Hier said that regardless of an outcome in the criminal case, the board will revoke a license if it declares the public is at risk. Conversely, the board can allow a doctor to continue practicing even after a felony conviction, he said.”It depends whether they think there is a patient-safety issue involved,” Heir said.Brubaker has held a medical license in Colorado since 1984, according to state records, and there have been no actions against him during that time. He did not return a call for comment.For more information: http://www.dailycamera.comVail, Colorado

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