TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa woman who police said was brutally attacked by her ex-boyfriend last month told FOX23 her attack could have been prevented if her protective order hadn’t expired.
“EMSA said I have a 50/50 chance of surviving. The police said this is the worst attack they’ve seen that didn’t end in homicide. He said I’m a walking miracle,” said Patricia.
FOX23 previously reported that police said Patricia, who declined to give her last name, was stabbed 15 times by Christopher Pruitt, her ex-boyfriend and father of her children, two weeks after receiving an emergency protective order against him.
The day before the attack, the protective order expired because Patricia wasn’t present at a hearing. She said it was because of her internet connection at the time. The hearing was virtual, and her connection was unstable. She told FOX23 she contacted the court clerk and begged them to work with her.
“My internet is not too good. I tried to connect and it wouldn’t, so I called the court clerk, I explained everything, I called the judge and she said we’ll see what we can do about not dismissing it,” said Patricia.
Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) legal team works out of the Family Safety Center, which helps administer protective orders in Tulsa. DVIS Vice President of Legal Services Megan Martin told FOX23 that an emergency protective order can be granted for two weeks without a hearing if a judge deems it necessary. After that period, Martin said a hearing needs to be held for a more permanent protective order.
Martin said it’s not uncommon for protective orders to be dismissed if the petitioner does not show up to court. She encourages petitioners to check internet connection far before their hearing date to see if it’s officially online. She added that the the petitioners should make sure they can get to court in person and if problems arise, effective communication with the court is always best.
DVIS can help walk anyone through filing a protective order and offer vital resources like safety planning and counseling, according to Martin.
FOX23 reached out to Judge Deborrah Leitch to ask why the case was dismissed and have not heard back.
This is a developing story.
©2022 Cox Media Group