The commanding officer of an Oregon-based Navy Reserve unit was fired last month after he was arrested and charged for allegedly choking his mother and stepfather in a Georgia hotel room, according to civilian police records and Navy officials.
Lt. Cmdr. Ronald Kolpak was relieved of command of Navy Reserve Center Springfield on July 26.
A brief statement issued after the firing stated that Kolpak was relieved due to a “loss of confidence” in his ability to command.
But Georgia police and court records show that Kolpak was arrested July 14 and charged with two counts of aggravated assault by strangulation.
A Navy official who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on personnel matters confirmed that Kolpak was relieved in connection to the alleged choking.
Kolpak did not respond to requests for comment.
Police were called to the Sleep Inn Hotel in College Park, Georgia, on the evening of July 14, according to College Park police records obtained by Navy Times.
There, Kolpak’s mother told officers that Kolpak “became upset” because his mother “poured his alcoholic beverage out,” according to the police report.
An argument ensued and turned physical when “Mr. Kolpak began choking (his mother) on the bed,” the report states.
“When (Kolpak’s stepfather) attempted to intervene, Mr. Kolpak then began choking both of them, holding them down on the bed,” according to the police report.
His mother told officers “she was unable to move” and lost consciousness during the alleged incident, the report states, but she eventually escaped and ran downstairs to call police.
She declined medical treatment but responding officers reported seeing “visible red marks around her neck.”
Kolpak told officers “he did get upset inside the hotel room and choked his mother,” according to the police report.
He was arrested, and court records show he was released from jail on bond on July 29.
Officials with the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office said in an email that the case will go before a grand jury either this month or next.
A reserve human resources officer, Kolpak enlisted in 2002 and commissioned in 2008, according to his service record.
He took command of the Springfield reserve center in July 2021.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.