TUCSON, Ariz. — The day University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson announced his retirement, his ex-wife threatened the coach’s doctor by placing a bullet-riddled target sheet in his office, according to a restraining order issued against Christine Olson on Tuesday.
The order was obtained by Dr. Steven D. Knope and signed by Pima County Justice of the Peace Susan Bacal, saying Christine Olson was to have no contact of “any sort” with Knope. The court papers list her as Christine Toretti, her name before she married Olson.
According to court documents, Christine Olson called Knope’s office on three occasions Oct. 23 asking to speak to him, but was told he was busy with patients.
Around 3 p.m., she arrived at the medical office and “behaved in a threatening manner” to staff members, according to the order.
After waiting 20 minutes, she walked past the reception area and to Knope’s office, according to court documents. Upon entering the office, she placed a target-practice sheet on his desk chair. It contained 25 bullet holes in the paper head and body, the report said.
Christine Olson did not return repeated phone messages left Tuesday and Wednesday. Her spokesman, Gordon James, said he and his client would “review all this — and then we’re going to comment further.”
Via e-mail, Knope referred questions to his attorney, Mick Rusing of Rusing &Lopez, PLLC.
Rusing said Knope was “still debating what to do” Oct. 31, when, according to court documents, Christine Olson called Knope’s office twice without identifying herself. She asked when the office was closing, and whether Knope would be there at 3 p.m.
That’s when Knope decided to get the order, Rusing said, “for his safety and the safety of his staff.” Employees at Knope’s office “were fairly traumatized by the whole thing,” Rusing said.
In the request for a restraining order, Knope said Christine Olson had exhibited “inappropriate and aggressive behavior” toward Knope during the past year and that she had been “openly hostile” toward him.
She “has blamed Dr. Knope for (her) recent divorce from Lute Olson, asserting that Dr. Knope destroyed her marriage,” the document said.
Last week, Knope held a news conference with members of Lute Olson’s family stating the former coaching icon, 74, had had a stroke within the last year.
Olson retired after 24 seasons at Arizona. He divorced Christine Olson last spring and is now engaged to Tucson resident Kelly Pugnea.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.)