2nd battery arrest in three weeks

A Marathon man is back in jail for the second time in three weeks for allegedly choking his girlfriend — again.

Thomas Grant, 32, of Merritt Island was arrested early Monday after Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the boat the couple has reportedly been living on together and found victim Mary Bertling hiding on a dinghy, according to an arrest report from Deputy George Zakariadze.

Zakariadze wrote he was assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard around 2:42 a.m. at the Boot Key Harbor City Marina where Bertling reportedly told him she and Grant had gotten into a fight and after she went to bed Grant “slid his arm around her neck and started to choke her,” after which she bit him on the forearm and he kicked her twice in the sternum.

“At one point, Thomas told Mary that he would tie her to the anchor of the boat and sink her in the water,” Zakariadze wrote. After Grant went to sleep, Bertling hid in the dinghy and called the police, according to the report.

Grant was arrested for felony domestic battery by strangulation and taken to the Marathon jail where he remained Monday without bond.

Grant was arrested June 25 for misdemeanor battery after he allegedly “became irate, picked up Mary by grabbing her upper arms close to the shoulders and threw her in the water around the 20th Street Bridge” in Marathon, Zakariadze wrote in his arrest report the same day.

Grant had taken Bertling out for dinner to apologize for a June 24 fight during which he tried to choke her and ended up hitting her in the upper lip, according to the report.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219