Columbus police officers kicked in the door of a residence in the 1200 block of Pearl Street after reportedly seeing a woman being choked.
Sgt. Matt Harris and Patrolman James Scott responded to two separate complaints of loud noises at 1230 Pearl St. starting around 11 p.m. Monday. Police told a man and woman living at the address to keep the noise down.
While responding to a third complaint at 1:47 a.m. Tuesday, the officers stopped to listen and watch the residence. Through the window, officers could see that a man and a woman were engaged in a heated argument. Scott saw the man trying to choke the woman, according to police reports. Officers immediately kicked in the door and took the man into custody.
Jeffrey Fivecoat, 44, was taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, where he was held on charges of domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor, and strangulation, a Class D felony.
While strangulation means the act of killing by squeezing the throat, Indiana law defines it as intentionally applying pressure to another person’s throat or obstructing their nose or mouth.
Lt. Matt Myers, spokesperson for the Columbus Police Department, said the 43-year-old girlfriend refused to cooperate with police and refused medical treatment. She said it was her birthday, and she didn’t want the man going to jail, Myers said.
“Often, the victim doesn’t want to see charges because of retaliation,” Myers said. “But we encourage anyone involved in domestic type situations to stand up to the batterer to answer for what they’ve done.”
If officers see bad things happening, or about to happen, they have an obligation to act immediately, Myers said.
“No one deserves to be battered,” Myers said. “Somewhere the cycle has to be broken. There are local organizations, such as Turning Point, where individuals can go for help.”