A battle with his lady friend over money to buy marijuana that included an alleged death threat left a 28-year-old Ocala man behind bars on Dec. 3.
The victim told Marion County sheriff’s deputies that she and her daughter were riding in a vehicle with 28-year-old Gerardo Matlala when he asked her for money to purchase marijuana. She said she refused to give him any money and a violent altercation quickly broke out while she was still driving, a sheriff’s office report states.
The victim claimed that Matlala pushed her head against the driver’s side window, causing a small laceration on her face. She said he grabbed her neck and applied pressure, which caused her “normal breathing to be disturbed.” She said she tried to push Matlala away and obtained a small laceration on her left hand, the report says, adding that deputies observed what appeared to be fresh scratch marks on the victim’s neck area and a small laceration on her clavicle area.
The victim claimed that Matlala said to her, “If you call the cops, I’m going to kill you and your daughter.” He had fled the scene before deputies arrived, the report says.
Multiple deputies then responded to Matlala’s home in the 11000 block of NW 20th St. in Ocala. He was quickly detained and while being walked to a patrol vehicle admitted that he had in his pocket a lighter and a weed pipe, which tested positive for marijuana, the report says.
After being read his rights, Matlala refused to answer questions. But he spontaneously uttered, “I was just defending myself. She always does this. She punched me and I was just trying to push her away. I pushed her against her window. You see my ear? She did that,” the report says, adding that Matlala’s left ear “appeared to have dried blood on it.”
Matlala was transported to the Marion County Jail and charged with domestic battery by strangulation, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of violating probation on previous robbery with a weapon charges. He was being held on no bond and is due in court Jan. 3 at 8:30 a.m. and Jan. 7 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.