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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Marion man chokes girlfriend, prevents 911 call during fight over cigarettes, deputies say

An argument over a pack of cigarettes led to the arrest of a 24-year-old Salt Springs man after he allegedly choked his girlfriend and grabbed her cellphone to prevent her from calling 911.

On Monday, June 10, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal and deputy trainee responded to a residence in Ocklawaha in reference to a battery incident. A friend of the female victim had informed the sheriff’s office that the victim had been battered by her boyfriend, Dalton Lane O’Berry, according to the arrest report.

Upon arrival, the corporal and deputy made contact with the female victim. The corporal noted in the report that the victim had a red mark on the left side of her neck that stretched down to her collarbone, along with several welts and scratches. Another red mark and two smaller welts were also observed on the right side of her neck.

The victim stated that earlier in the morning, she had picked up her boyfriend, O’Berry, and brought him to her home. While in the residence, he allegedly got upset when he could not find his pack of cigarettes, and an argument ensued shortly after the victim handed him the pack, according to the report.

During the argument, O’Berry allegedly became “more enraged” and placed his hands around the victim’s throat. According to the victim’s statement, O’Berry “pinned her down to the bed against her will,” and she struggled to breathe due to the pressure that O’Berry was allegedly applying to her throat.

The victim further alleged that while O’Berry was choking her, he stated, “I’ll kill you.”

When the victim “broke free” from O’Berry’s alleged grasp, she stated that she grabbed her cellphone and attempted to dial 911. Moments later, O’Berry allegedly snatched the phone out of her hands before she could contact law enforcement, according to the report.

The corporal noted that the marks on the victim’s neck were “consistent with her account of the events.” After interviewing the victim, the corporal and deputy were unable to locate O’Berry.

On Saturday, June 29, O’Berry was located, arrested, and transported to Marion County Jail. He is currently being held at the facility on a $10,000 bond, and he is being charged with domestic battery by strangulation and tampering in a felony third-degree proceeding.

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30, according to jail records.