A 75-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he allegedly punched his 67-year-old female roommate and took her phone to keep her from calling 911.
Ronald Paul Steinike was charged with battery on a person 65 years of age or older, obstructing justice by tampering in a misdemeanor proceeding, and second-degree petit theft (first offense) after the incident, which happened around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday at his residence on NW 44th Avenue.
The victim told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy she rents a room from Steinike and has lived with him since January or February. She said she and Steinike are not, and have never been, romantically involved and they have separate bedrooms. The victim said Steinike had been drinking and started arguing with her for an unknown reason, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The victim said at some point, Steinike started saying he wanted the victim to move out of his residence. She said she went to the restroom and Steinike followed her, grabbed her by the arm and punched her in the face. The victim said she was going to call 911 using her Android cell phone, but Steinike took it away from her, the report said.
The victim said she asked Steinike numerous times to give her back the phone and he refused. She said he then grabbed her by the arms and pulled her out of the residence. The victim said she was able to take her phone back while she was being pulled outside. She said she paid about $100 for the phone, according to the report.
After being read his Miranda warning, Steinike said the victim has been living with him and he has been trying to get her to leave. He said every time he brings up the subject of her leaving, an argument begins. Steinike said he had been drinking and the victim said something that set him off, the report said.
Asked if he put his hands on the victim, Steinike said, “Yes, I tried to get her out the door.” Asked if he had taken the victim’s cell phone from her during the altercation, he replied, “I may have,” according to the report.
The deputy listened to a voice recording taken on the victim’s phone during the incident. The audio included a verbal argument as described by the victim, with the victim telling Steinike to take his hands off her and repeatedly telling him to return her phone. On the audio, the victim told Steinike she was going to call the cops and Steinike said no when she asked for her phone back, the report said.
The deputy observed redness on the victim’s left cheek, where she said she was punched by Steinike, according to the report.
Steinike was placed under arrest and taken to the Marion County Jail. He was released Friday on $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Sep. 8.