Former chief of surgery at Cooley Dickinson Hospital charged with domestic assault and battery
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NORTHAMPTON — Police arrested Dr. Donald J. Sonn, the former chief of surgery at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Wednesday in connection with an alleged assault on his wife at the couple’s home.
Sonn, 47, of 330 Elm St., was charged with domestic assault and battery and pleaded innocent in Northampton District Court on Thursday. He was released on his own personal recognizance and is under a court order to stay away from the victim and his residence. He is scheduled to return to court Dec. 2 for a pretrial hearing.
Sonn’s term as chief of surgery at Cooley Dickinson expired Sept. 30 though he remains a practicing surgeon there. A hospital spokeswoman said the charge against the doctor is unrelated to his practice of medicine.
“His status at the hospital remains unchanged pending the outcome of the judicial process,” Dianne M. Cutillo wrote in an email to the Gazette.
According to a criminal complaint filed in court, Sonn allegedly punched his wife in the mouth with a closed fist during a domestic dispute that began with an argument late Tuesday night around midnight and spilled over to the next day. The alleged blow knocked her to the ground, caused her lip to bleed and tooth veneer to fall off, according to court documents.
Police arrived at the home around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and found Sonn’s wife, who had called 911, standing by the side of an SUV in the driveway with three children inside the vehicle, according to the complaint. Sonn had left the scene in another vehicle and was arrested and booked a short time later at the police station on Center Street.
Northampton attorney David P. Hoose said Thursday night that he represents Sonn and issued this statement: “Dr. Sonn is very remorseful over this unfortunate incident. He loves his wife and family very much and knows that they love him in return. This incident is not in any way connected to his medical judgment or ability to practice medicine and he anticipates continuing to provide his services to the greater Northampton community without interruption. We anticipate that this matter will be resolved favorably and quickly in a just and fair manner.”