Deputies track down man accused of battering woman


Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.

Police say a man who fled from police and K-9 units after he battered his partner in the couple's home has been caught.

Donald Arnold, 29, who lives on Northwest 119th Street, was arrested and charged with battery by strangulation and resisting without violence on Monday morning, Alachua County sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey said.

The couple got into an argument around 11 a.m., according to an arrest report. Arnold punched and then put the female victim in a choke hold, deputies said. He then fled.

Deputies searched the neighborhood and got information that Arnold was on a cordless phone, the report said. Deputy Lloyd O'Quinn searched through backyards in the neighborhood, and some residents told him they had seen Arnold nearby.

O'Quinn, with his K-9 Cowboy, a 4 -year veteran of the force, called for backup and searched the victim's backyard. Deputy Brian Ritter and K-9 Camo also responded. Cowboy led O'Quinn to the corner edge of the backyard and scratched at the fence. O'Quinn saw some movement through the slats of the fence and ordered Arnold to lay on the ground, the report said.

Arnold stood up and said he was going to surrender, but apparently he ran off. The fence was too high for Cowboy to jump, and when the team ran around, Arnold was gone, deputies said.

Deputies said they found Arnold in the backyard of a different home and placed him in handcuffs.

Forgey said one of ASO's priorities is to make sure victims of domestic abuse cases get the proper help they need in cases like these. ASO uses the Lethality Assessment Protocol for first responders to refer victims to the Peaceful Paths Abuse Network, Forgey said. The assessment is an 11-question survey, and recommendations are made based on the score. If the victim "screens in," the victim is deemed to be at high risk and put in contact with the local domestic abuse hotline.

"We do this assessment program and have been since 2009," Forgey said, "and now several other agencies do it as well."

"Before, when we went to a domestic call, we would talk to a victim and give them a pamphlet, but now we go that extra step and bridge that gap and put them into contact with service providers," Forgey explained.

Deputies repeat the process with every domestic victim, Forgey said, including the one with Arnold. The deputy will generally stand by the victim while the victim talks to a hotline counselor. The screening and hotline phone call normally takes less than 10 minutes.

Arnold was appointed a public defender and was no longer in Alachua County jail as of Tuesday afternoon, according to jail records.

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