An Ocala woman was arrested after she allegedly gave a man a bloody lip during an argument while they were driving home from an Ocklawaha restaurant.
Krysti Leighanne Merchant, 32, of NE 9th Avenue, was charged with simple battery after the incident, which happened around 5:30 p.m. inside a vehicle in the 5000 block of SE Maricamp Road.
The victim told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy he and the Merchant were in an argument when she struck him in the face with her hand, causing a minor injury to his upper lip. The deputy observed swelling on the victim’s upper lip and dried blood on his upper lip and in his mustache, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The victim said after being struck by the victim, he hit the windshield of her vehicle and damaged it. He declined medical treatment for his injuries, the report said.
Merchant first spoke with two Ocala Police officers and said nothing physical had occurred. She then changed her story and said she and the victim were driving eastbound on Maricamp when they got into a verbal argument. Merchant said the victim punched the windshield of her vehicle, causing damage, according to the report.
Merchant said she then called the victim’s mother and told her what happened. She said while she was talking to the victim’s mother, he struck the phone, causing it to strike her in the face. Merchant said she retaliated and struck the victim in the chest or stomach area, the report said.
The deputy observed several areas of damage to Merchant’s windshield that appeared to be caused by something striking it multiple times. However, the deputy did not observe any visible injuries to Merchant’s face or any signs of damage on her cell phone, according to the report.
Both OPD police officers told the deputy that the victim’s biological son was present at the time of the incident but refused to speak with them. The youth was picked up and placed into the custody of his biological mother. The victim’s mother said while she was on the phone with Merchant, she admitted to striking the victim but did not say anything about being physically touched by him, the report said.
Merchant was taken to the Marion County Jail, where she was released Wednesday on her own recognizance. She’s due to appear in Marion County Court on Sept. 2.