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July 9, 2013

Man charged with attempted murder after dispute with girlfriend

SALISBURY — A Clinton man is being held without bail following his arraignment yesterday on an attempted murder charge for allegedly strangling his girlfriend Sunday following a dispute over a T-shirt while walking along Beach Road.

Daniel Gonzalez, 35, 203 High St., No. 1, Clinton, was arrested shortly after midnight Sunday by officers Brian Smith and David Delling minutes after officer Daniel McNeil spoke to the alleged victim. In addition to attempted murder, Gonzalez was charged with domestic assault and battery and disorderly conduct. Gonzalez is due back in court Friday for a dangerousness hearing ordered by Judge Allen Swan to determine whether he is too much of a risk to society or the victim to be afforded bail pending trial.

According to McNeil’s police report, he spotted the victim in a section of tall grass near Foote’s Ice Cream stand. Moments earlier, McNeil had driven by a black man walking westbound on Beach Road before spotting the victim sitting down a few feet off the roadway.

When McNeil approached the victim, she immediately told him that her boyfriend had ripped off her shirt and strangled her around the neck. McNeil then asked if the man he had passed a few moments earlier was her boyfriend and she said yes. McNeil then called for additional officers to detain the suspect, according to his report.

The victim told police the two had been walking from the beach to their room at the Dunes Motel when an argument began. McNeil’s report doesn’t specify what the argument was about other than it had something to do with the shirt she was wearing. Eventually, the suspect tore off the shirt and threw it towards the road. Around the same time, the victim punched Gonzalez in the face knocking off his sunglasses. Gonzalez began choking her but the victim managed to break free. Gonzalez promptly left the area as the victim began trying to flag down motorists to help her. While no one stopped to her aid, someone called police, according to police reports.

According to Smith’s report, Gonzalez, whose face was bloodied, admitted a confrontation took place adding that the situation got out of hand. He also said that the victim had struck him.

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