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Roxanne Houghton in 2009.

ATTLEBORO - Former City Councilor and well-known animal advocate Roxanne Houghton faces a charge of assaulting her brother with a knife Thursday during a quarrel about her dog.

And, an order issued by a district court judge will require Houghton to temporarily vacate her own home.

City police arrested Houghton, 66, shortly before noon Thursday when her brother Wallace, with whom she lives, called authorities to complain she had threatened him with a 12-inch knife.

According to a police report, Wallace Houghton said his sister told him, "I'm going to cut your throat" after the two became embroiled in a quarrel.

Wallace Houghton told police his sister was angry and accused him of killing her dog.

Houghton said that when he called police, his sister placed the knife in the dishwasher and did not physically touch him with it.

Police reported finding two large knives in the dishwasher.

Both Houghtons live in Roxanne Houghton's house at 13 Eisenhower Drive.

The former city councilor denied in a police interview that she assaulted her brother.

Following her arrest, Houghton was handcuffed and placed in the rear of a police cruiser.

While inside the cruiser, police said, Houghton slipped off the cuffs and had to be handcuffed again.

Judge Michael Vitali agreed to release the former city council member on personal recognizance and continue her case to March 23 following her arraignment Thursday in Attleboro District Court.

He also granted a domestic abuse prevention order requiring Roxanne Houghton to remain 100 yards from her brother, who pays rent and continues to live in the home. The order expires Feb. 26.

Roxanne Houghton's lawyer, Theodore Barone, said the order requested by Wallace Houghton would effectively result in her being "booted out" of her own home.

Barone also attacked Wallace Houghton's testimony in favor of the order as lacking credibility, and said the brother never told police about prior incidents involving his sister that appeared later in an affadavit he signed.

Barone also pointed to a police report indicating Wallace Houghton refused to provide a written statement to investigators.

However, during testimony on the abuse prevention order Wallace Houghton said it was his understanding from talking to police that he needed to make his statements in court.

According to testimony in court Thursday, Wallace Houghton previously lived in Ipswich with a woman he referred to as his "significant other." He said he moved in with his sister about three months ago after he and the woman agreed to live apart.

Wallace Houghton, under questioning by Barone, denied that an incident involving police led to the breakup. He said he pays his sister $600 a month rent, and has already paid for the month of February.

Wallace Houghton declined to answer questions Thursday from a Sun Chronicle reporter.

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