A suburban St. Louis doctor has been charged with attempting to strangle the mother of his four children.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 51-year-old Michael Naughton, of Ladue, was charged this month with domestic assault and unlawful use of a weapon. The oncologist has been released on bail.

A police officer wrote in charging documents that he flipped over the woman's chair on Dec. 13 and then tried to strangle her.

The officer said Naughton only stopped when the children startled him. The charging documents say he then forced the woman into the kitchen, pointed a butcher knife at her and threatened to shove it down her throat.

His lawyer, Greg Smith, Naughton is cooperating with the investigation. Police didn't identify the woman, but Smith says she's Naughton's wife.