West Middletown man accused of assaulting girlfriend

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A West Middletown man was arrested Monday on a warrant obtained by McDonald police after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend the previous day.


Richard V. Brown, 49, of 64 E. Main St., is accused of punching and choking Stacey Phillips as the two of them were in a vehicle driving on several roads in Independence Township.


Police initially were called to the parking lot of a restaurant on Route 844 for a report of a domestic disturbance. When McDonald police arrived, Phillips was being treated by ambulance personnel prior to being transported to Washington Hospital. Phillips had a large contusion on her forehead and left cheek, as well as blood around her nose and mouth.


Phillips told police that she and Brown have been in a relationship for about five years. She said she recently dropped a protection-from-abuse order that she had against him and that they were again living together.


Phillips said she was talking on her cellphone with her mother when Brown became angry as the two drove near the intersection of Route 844 and Scenic Drive. She told police he punched her in the head and pulled her over the center console of the car by the neck. She said Brown was choking her and she was unable to breathe. Phillips told the officer she pretended to lose consciousness so that he would stop choking her, because she was afraid she was going to die.


When Brown pulled into the parking lot, he allegedly hit Phillips’ head off the dashboard. She told police she jumped from the car and started running to the woods to get away from him. Brown initially gave chase but then got back into his car and sped off, she said.


Brown was arraigned before District Judge Robert Redlinger on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment. He was placed in Washington County jail on $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 18 before District Judge Ethan Ward.


Assisting at the scene were state police and Avella firefighters.


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