Woman reportedly cut, beaten by man

OKEECHOBEE — A local man accused of choking and accidentally cutting a woman with a knife during an argument, is being held on $35,000 bond in the Okeechobee County Jail.

Joshua Houston

Joshua Lamar Houston

Joshua Lamar Houston, 31, U.S. 98 N., was arrested Sunday, July 17, on felony charges of domestic battery by strangulation, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment by force or by threat.

Deputy Joseph Hall, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), stated in his report that he and Deputy Corporal Don Ellis responded to a residence on U.S. 98 N. Sunday around 12:30 p.m.

When the deputies approached the home Deputy Hall stated “we both could hear a male and a female yelling at each other and the female crying.”

After the deputies knocked on the front door and identified themselves, a 34-year-old woman opened the door. The woman, stated Deputy Hall, was crying and had an open wound on her wrist that was bleeding. She also had scratch marks on her neck and upper chest, he added.

The deputies then ordered a man, later identified as Houston, out of the home. That man had what appeared to be a bite mark in the middle of his back, noted Deputy Hall.

According to the deputy’s report the female victim reportedly told him Houston had hit her multiple times and when she tried to leave the home he grabbed a knife and her wrist. He then apparently told her she wasn’t going anywhere and when she tried to pull away from him the man “accidentally” cut her wrist.

Deputy Hall went on to state the woman kicked the man in the groin and bit him in the back “… because she wanted him to stop.”

The argument supposedly continued and at one point he began choking the woman until she was able to wrestle herself free. As she left the home, Houston followed her outside where he allegedly grabbed her by the hair and started dragging her around in the front yard.

“(She) did have black dirt on her back that was consistent with her statements,” penned Deputy Hall.

The woman was taken to Raulerson Hospital for treatment by Okeechobee County Fire/Rescue medical personnel, noted Deputy Hall.

Two men who were working in a neighboring yard reportedly told the OCSO deputies they saw “… a man (Houston) dragging a white female by the hair while punching her in the face repeatedly while she screamed.”

Deputy Hall also noted the woman’s 6-month-old son was in the home at the time of the alleged affray but was not injured. The child was later turned over to a family member of the female victim.

Houston’s arraignment has been set for Aug. 11 and 10 a.m.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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