ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- An Odessa man is behind bars after police said he assaulted his girlfriend and refused to let her call for help. Jose Manuel Martinez, 20, has been charged with assaulting a family member by impeding breath and interfering with a 911 call.
According to an affidavit, on June 18, police were alerted to the situation after the victim’s mother received a tear-filled call from her daughter begging for help. Officers with the Odessa Police Department then met the mother outside an apartment building on W 8th Street. The mom said her daughter was inside the apartment with her boyfriend, identified as Martinez.
Officers could see the victim and Martinez sitting in the living room. Through the window, officers noted the victim had visible bruising to her face. Later, they also found bruising to the woman’s chest, as well as marks on her neck and arms.
Martinez was escorted from the apartment where he reportedly told police he and his girlfriend had been arguing and that things escalated when she slapped him. He denied ever hitting the woman but said he “might” have hit her with his elbow while pushing her away.
Officers then met with the victim who said she and Martinez began arguing about a number she had saved in her phone. She admitted to slapping Martinez because he offended her and that is when Martinez reportedly began shoving her.
The victim said she grabbed her phone to call her mother and sibling for help and Martinez took the phone away and began trying to break it. She then tried to get the phone back so she could call 911, but Martinez wouldn’t give it back and kept trying to smash it.
In a wrestling match for the phone, the victim stated Martinez continued to shove her and hit her. At one point, he also reportedly choked the woman, and she was unable to breathe.
Martinez was arrested and taken to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center where he remained as of Thursday morning. His bond has been set at a combined $22,500.