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Ocala man who called 911 ends up being the one charged with domestic battery

John Mark Leonard

A 67-year-old Ocala man who called 911 to report a woman had locked herself in a bedroom and was acting highly emotional ended up being arrested and charged with battering her.

John Mark Leonard told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday the victim was inside the room and started acting crazy for no apparent reason. The deputy went to the bedroom and spoke with the victim, who had been crying and said she was scared of Leonard, according to the sheriff’s office report.

Asked why she was scared, the victim said Leonard has hit her in the past. She said she told him that night she just wanted space and to be able to go to sleep, but he continuously banged on the door demanding to speak with her. The victim had video of Leonard beating on the door, and what the deputy observed did not appear to be just a knock but an attempt to get into the bedroom. At one point in the video, Leonard is heard saying he didn’t want to have to bust through the door to speak with the victim, according to the report.

When asked about the prior battery, the victim said it happened around 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 24. She Leonard walked up to her and tried to kiss and hug her. The victim said she told Leonard not to touch her, but he then forcefully grabbed her by the arms, causing two bruises on her left upper arm. The victim did not have any visible injuries, but she showed pictures on her cell phone that appeared to match her statement, the report said.

After being read his Miranda warning, Leonard said he did grab the victim during the previous incident, but he said the injuries in the photo were caused by her slinging herself into a bookshelf in the living room. Leonard said the victim is the one who is aggressive and that he has never put his hands on her, according to the report.

Leonard was charged with domestic battery causing bodily harm. He was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released later Tuesday on $100 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on April 9.

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