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Friday, June 14, 2024

Boyfriend accused of grabbing girlfriend’s throat, preventing 911 call

An argument over money led to the arrest of a 30-year-old Ocala man after he allegedly choked his girlfriend and slammed her to the ground when she attempted to contact law enforcement.

On Tuesday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal spoke with the female victim over the phone, and she advised that the incident with her boyfriend, Russell Andrew Duffer, had occurred earlier that morning, according to the arrest report.

Russell Andrew Duffer, 30, of Ocala
Russell Andrew Duffer, 30, of Ocala

The victim stated that she had asked Duffer if she could transfer money “from his phone to hers” because it was his week to pay a bill. She advised that Duffer initially said “yes,” and she completed the money transfer, according to the report.

Soon after the funds were transferred, the victim stated that Duffer “got up from the couch in a rage” and began yelling at her to “give the money back.” According to the victim’s statement, Duffer then allegedly grabbed her neck with both his hands and began choking her to the point that she was unable to breathe.

The victim told the corporal that when she attempted to dial 911 on her cellphone, Duffer “slammed her down” on the bathroom floor. She dropped her cellphone, and Duffer allegedly stomped on the device when she reached for it to call 911, according to the report.

Duffer allegedly “pinned (the victim) down to the floor” before eventually letting her leave the bathroom. She stated that she grabbed her cellphone and contacted law enforcement before leaving the residence.

An MCSO deputy made contact with the victim at an unspecified location. The report stated that the deputy observed “multiple red marks” around the victim’s neck that were “consistent with being choked.” Purple marks were also visible on her neck, which were consistent with fingerprints.

The corporal and deputy both responded to the incident location, where they made contact with Duffer. After being read his Miranda rights, he denied the allegations and claimed that the victim “put the marks on herself,” according to the report.

Duffer was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond. He is being charged with domestic battery by strangulation and hindering, delaying, or preventing the communication to a law enforcement officer of information relating to the commission or possible commission of an offense.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.