Crime

Middle Keys man accused of choking his fiance

A Marathon man accused of choking his finance and girlfriend of eight years should have listened to her advice to go to the hospital. Instead, he wound up in jail for what police say was taking his frustration out on her.

William Eckel, 52, is accused of hitting and choking Penny Colombo, 49, at midnight Thursday at their 11th Street home. Eckel is charged with felony domestic battery by strangulation and felony tampering. He was in the Keys jail Friday on $20,000 bond.

Colombo told Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputies she suggested Eckel go to Fishermen's Community Hospital after he fell on the floor after becoming weak. As she tried to help him up, he reportedly got angry and started choking her. Colombo told deputies she reached for her phone and tried to call 911 but Eckel grabbed it and tossed it across the room, separating the case from the battery.

According to the police report, Colombo gathered the pieced and called 911 after locking herself in a bathroom. Deputies reported Colombo had red marks around her neck and her face was swollen. She refused medical treatment and declined to press charges.

In Florida, police have the call when it comes to arrests for domestic violence.

The report says Eckel told deputies he never touched Colombo but said he did take her phone and threw it. Deputies deemed Eckel the aggressor and arrested.

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