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Sunday, Mar 29, 2015
Pasco Tribune

Fire Rescue lieutenant arrested on domestic battery charge

From staff reports

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WESLEY CHAPEL — A lieutenant with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue faces a domestic battery charge after his live-in girlfriend told deputies he tried to strangle her, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Christopher Mark West, 31, of 2155 Pantucket Drive, Wesley Chapel, was arrested at his home Wednesday and taken to the Land O’ Lakes Jail, where he was later released on $1,500 bail.

Deputies came to West’s home at 2:54 a.m. Wednesday after the woman sent several text messages to friends saying West was trying to strangle her and would not let her leave the house, an arrest report said.

When deputies arrived, the woman ran out the front door toward them “in a clear state of panic and fear,” the report said. She had hand marks and redness on her neck and told the deputies that West held her down on the bathroom floor and covered her mouth to keep her from breathing, the report said.

She said she began texting for help when she could do so without being detected, the report said.

West told the deputies the two had been arguing, but he denied any physical contact other than “hugging and calming,” the report said.

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