watershed-look-peak-pikes

A look at the South Slope watershed of Pikes Peak. Photo by CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE

An Iraq war veteran who was reportedly haunted by two tours of combat was arrested last month in Fountain on charges that he held a loaded gun to his fiancee’s head.

Sgt. Scott Stewart Wallace, 26, is being held at Fort Carson on suspicion of felony menacing, court records said.

Wallace was arrested Feb. 28 after police were called to the home he shares with his fiancee and her two children on Fairweather Way. According to an arrest affidavit, the soldier choked and pushed 21-year-old Angelique “Amy” Lawrence before pulling a pistol on her after an argument spiraled out of control.

A witness said Wallace was angry because Lawrence hadn’t alerted him when she caught children throwing rocks at their window.

“He said, ‘You should have come and got me. I would have put a gun to them,” said Nicole Traceski, who lives with the couple and carried Lawrence’s 2-year-old and 5-year-old boys outside before the fight turned physical.

Wallace serves with the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

The alleged death threat came only one day after another Fort Carson Iraq war veteran was arrested in the murder of his wife in suburban Chicago — jarring reminders of the post’s history of soldier-involved violence.

In the Fountain incident, the boys were placed in temporary foster care after the confrontation. The 1-year-old is Wallace’s son, Lawrence said.

Lawrence — who told The Gazette that Wallace choked her but denies that a gun was held to her head — believes her fiance needs medical help, not jail.

She said Wallace suffered from nightmares even before leaving for his second tour in September 2008. He sought help from a therapist in Colorado Springs, never reporting his problems to the Army for fear he would be relieved of duty.

The ensuing tour in Iraq was marked by bloodshed, including a bomb blast in April that killed five soldiers in his unit.

“Scott was there for that,” Lawrence said. “He didn’t get hurt. He was further back when it went off. But a lot of his friends died.”

After returning home in August, Wallace set up candles in tribute to each friend he’s lost — as many as 17 so far, Lawrence said — but he kept quiet about his experiences. That reserved demeanor began to unravel in February, as Wallace grew increasingly volatile, with violent outbursts and controlling behavior.

“February was nothing but him just snapping,” Traceski said. “They were fighting constantly. It was just constant stress.”

Wallace agreed to get anger management counseling after an incident in which he twisted her arm, Lawrence said.  She said he arranged an appointment for this month but missed it because of his arrest.

Traceski, who calls Wallace a “good guy,” said medical attention could have prevented the incident.

“Living with Scott, I’ve never felt unsafe,” Traceski said. “However, I feel like he knew he was getting ready to snap and he was trying to get help.”call the writer at 636-0366

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