JONESBORO, Ark. – A 34-year-old Jonesboro man not only beat his girlfriend but threatened to murder her and her 5-year-old daughter if she called the police, a JPD incident report says. Now, he is in jail – but only on a misdemeanor charge.
The report begins at 7:41 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, in Jonesboro. Officer Gary Jackson with Jonesboro Police Department was dispatched to the redacted address, the report said, in response to a domestic disturbance. The disturbance was reported by a next door neighbor – the suspect’s mother. She said her son’s live-in girlfriend had sent her text messages saying the suspect, 34, of Jonesboro, had been beating on his girlfriend. The suspect’s mother went on to say he had threatened to kill the girlfriend, their five-year-old daughter, and himself if she called the police.
The mother advised police her son was using drugs and was “always beating on the victim and it needed to stop.” She said her son told her he hits the victim in the head so that the injuries will not be seen.
The officer went to the apartment and made contact with the victim who said her boyfriend had been beating on her since 2 a.m., a little over five hours earlier. The officer observed redness around her nose and forehead. Several bruises were on both upper arms which she said the suspect caused overnight. She told the officer he hits her in the head so the injuries cannot be seen and that the suspect even threatens, “often,” to slit her and her daughter’s throat.
She even said he had told the child directly he would slit her throat, “on occasion.”
The officer went upstairs and took the suspect in custody. He had all of the parties fill out statements but when reading through them, Jackson said he “was alarmed at the suspect taking the child to bed with him after the victim refused to go upstairs with him.”
“The victim had written in her statement that the suspect instructed her not to come upstairs when he took the child with him,” Jackson reported. “The victim had also written that the suspect demands sex or oral sex from her all the time, no matter who was present.”
He asked the victim the pressing question of if she believed their daughter was being sexually abused by the suspect. She said she didn’t think so, but then told the officer she had awakened one time to find the suspect’s hand near the 5-year-old’s genital area as the suspect was kissing her on the thigh. The victim said she yelled at the suspect and he said he was asleep and thought it was his girlfriend – not a 5-year-old – that he was touching. The victim stated she told the suspect their daughter didn’t need to be sleeping in the same bed with a child molester and a fight ensued. This happened in May, she said.
The mother of the suspect, who made the initial call to police, said she didn’t think her son would molest the child. Considering his other behavior, the officer wasn’t convinced. He asked to speak to the child and was given permission.
While talking with the 5-year-old, the officer asked if he had ever been mean to her, threatened to hurt her or touched her private areas.
“She constantly looked down and shook her head no,” Jackson reported.
The girl was obviously scared. The officer explained to her she wasn’t in trouble and that he needed to know the truth. She still looked down and shook her head no.
“…I was unsure if she was being honest,” Jackson reported. He stopped questioning her at this time.
The home was a filthy mess. Due to this, the suspect’s possible drug use and the nature of the call, the incident was reported to the Division of Children and Family Services. The victim didn’t want to speak to a domestic violence hotline representative at the time of the call but a number was left with her.
The suspect was transported to Craighead County Detention Center on a misdemeanor charge of third degree domestic battering. JPD redacted his name in the report but listed him as 5’11”, 185 pounds with blue eyes, red hair, facial hair, and a light complexion. He remains in jail as of Thursday morning, July 13.
Recognizing the Signs of Abuse
Abusive relationships have many signs – the most telling of which is fear of your partner. If you are always watching what you say around your partner in fear them becoming uncontrollably angry, there is a good chance you are in an abusive relationship. Other signs include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you. Also, having feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation are signs.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following descriptions of abuse, reach out now. There is help available. No one should live in fear of the person they love.