BRATTLEBORO -- A Townshend man faces a felony assault charge after police said he struck a woman while strangling her.
State Police said they found Damion D. Forbes, 23, at his Route 30 apartment "visibly distressed and crying" after the Monday evening incident.
When asked what had happened, court documents say, Forbes claimed he had blacked out and replied, "I don't know. What did I do?"
Forbes was arraigned Tuesday in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division on charges of felony first-degree aggravated domestic assault and misdemeanor domestic assault.
He pleaded not guilty before Judge Katherine Hayes and was released on court-ordered conditions including having no contact with the victim,
State Police said they responded just after 6 p.m. Monday for a reported assault. The victim told them that Forbes had "become irate, began yelling and threw keys at her."
As a policy, the Reformer does not identify victims of domestic assault.
The victim said Forbes grabbed her right leg and dragged her to the ground, then was on top of her with his right arm around her throat, court documents say.
The woman "completely lost the ability to breathe for approximately 20 seconds," a police affidavit says. During the strangulation, Forbes allegedly struck the victim in her mouth with his left fist.
Police said they observed a laceration on the inside of the victim's mouth.
After the victim was able to move Forbes' arm and shout "Let go of me," another person at the scene grabbed Forbes and "threw him off," documents say.
The woman told investigators she felt light-headed and nauseous and "believed she would have suffered serious bodily injury" if not for that intervention.
When police questioned Forbes, he "reported that he suffers from bipolar disorder, has not taken his medication for two years and blacked out during the fight," according to the affidavit.
Forbes claimed he did not know how he and the victim ended up on the floor. But when asked whether he was concerned about the woman's possible injuries, he "began crying heavily and said, ‘Yes,'" the affidavit says.
Forbes' Vermont criminal record consists of convictions on two misdemeanors in Windham County: There was a 2009 marijuana-possession count for which he was fined $250 and a 2008 conviction for simple assault that was resolved by a prison sentence of 15 to 16 days.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.