A 58-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he was accused of attacking a woman inside a local residence and preventing her from leaving to get help.
On Thursday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal and sergeant arrived at the incident location. A man, identified as Keith Bernard Hardison, met them at the front door.
The MCSO report states that the corporal spoke with Hardison while the sergeant went inside the residence to speak with the victim.
Hardison told the corporal that he was on the phone with a relative when the victim allegedly began threatening him with two kitchen knives in a “completely unprovoked attack.” He stated that he grabbed a baseball bat from a bedroom and “went after” the victim.
Hardison stated that the victim went inside a bedroom and contacted law enforcement.
The corporal made contact with the victim, and she was “visibly distraught and hysterical,” according to the MCSO report. After the victim calmed down, she told the corporal that Hardison had become “enraged” when she interjected in a conversation that he was having on the phone.
According to the victim, Hardison pushed her onto the couch and started hitting her. She advised that she was unable to get to her cellphone to call 911.
The victim stated that she attempted to leave the house to yell for help, but Hardison grabbed her before she was able to open the front door. She told the corporal that Hardison wrapped his arms around her head and neck, and he allegedly squeezed her in an attempt to prevent her from leaving the home.
The victim claimed that Hardison continuously punched her in the head during the incident. She described Hardison as being “completely out of his mind in anger,” and she stated that she kept trying to “remind him who she was” during the alleged attack.
When the victim was able to escape Hardison’s grasp, she stated that she ran to the kitchen, opened a drawer, and grabbed a knife and fork so that she could defend herself. She told the corporal that Hardison grabbed a baseball bat, chased her with it, and she was able to retreat inside a bedroom where she was finally able to use her cellphone to call 911.
A juvenile inside the residence told the corporal that the victim was heard screaming and yelling during the incident. According to the juvenile witness, the victim kept saying “it’s me” to Hardison while he was allegedly attacking her, which the corporal noted was consistent with the victim’s statement.
The MCSO report indicated that the victim had several injuries that were also consistent with her statement. The corporal observed two abrasions on her neck area that appeared to have been caused by a necklace being pressed hard into her skin, her eyes appeared to be swollen and were bulging, several bruises were visible on her right arm, and she complained about several painful bumps on her head.
The victim stated that she was unable to breathe when Hardison was allegedly squeezing her head and neck.
Hardison was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held without bond. He is facing felony charges for committing domestic battery by strangulation; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill; hindering, delaying, or preventing the communication to a law enforcement officer of information relating to the commission of an offense or violation; and false imprisonment of an adult.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.