TRAVERSE CITY — A Garfield Township man faces a felony assault by strangulation charge after authorities said he choked his girlfriend until she feared for her life.
On Jan. 9, a woman called 911 and said she locked herself in her bedroom to escape her boyfriend, Desmond Oliver White, 30, who had just choked her. Authorities arrived at the Boon Street residence and found the victim, 25, with bruising and red marks around her neck.
Grand Traverse County Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg said assault by strangulation is a relatively new charge. She said it encompasses cases in which a defendant blocks a victim’s air passages or blood supply.
“It’s fairly common in domestic violence cases,” she said.
The victim told a Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputy she argued with White after catching him on the phone with his ex-girlfriend, the police report states. She said they both began shoving each other and White, who was drunk, pushed her to the ground and choked her.
“(She) states that she could not breathe and states she began seeing things as if she was about ready to die,” the report states.
It took the victim several minutes to catch her breath before she called 911, the report states.
White told authorities no physical assault took place. He was arrested and showed a .13 blood-alcohol content upon his booking in Grand Traverse County’s jail. His attorney Matthew Connolly didn’t return a call for comment.
White appeared Tuesday for an arraignment in 86th District Court and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Jan. 28. Court records show White had two prior domestic violence cases that were dismissed. Moeggenberg said prosecutors are looking into them.
A preliminary exam is scheduled for Jan. 28.