A 44-year-old Hernando man found himself behind bars recently after allegedly choking his lady friend until she started gagging.
Anthony Angelo Matelsky said he and the woman were arguing when she punched him on the left side of his face and he grabbed her. He said that after he grabbed the victim, he heard her say, “Don’t choke me,” but he didn’t recall choking her, a sheriff’s office report states, adding that Matelsky had a red bruise on the left side of his face near his eye.
The victim told deputies that she and Matelsky were in a verbal altercation when he approached her while she was sitting in the living room. She claimed he grabbed her by her hair and pulled her into the kitchen, the report says.
The victim said she was able to get away from Matelsky, which resulted in her being punched in her left ear. She said she then went back to the living room, where Matelsky forced her head into a couch cushion. She said he was smothering her before he put his hand around her neck and choked her to the point where she couldn’t breathe and was gagging, the report says, adding that the woman suffered from bruising on her neck, back and right arm.
A juvenile eyewitness said Matelsky grabbed the victim and shook her. She said the victim yelled for her to call 911, so she ran outside and called law enforcement for help. She said she then went back inside the residence and saw Matelsky on top of the victim choking her, the report says.
Matelsky was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with domestic battery by strangulation. He was released Sunday on $10,000 bond and is due in court April 21 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charge.