STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — A State College man, who told state police he was homeless, is facing strangulation charges after troopers responded to an early morning domestic call.
State police responded to Garman House Apartments in Bellefonte just after 4 a.m., June 15 for the report of an assault. When arriving they found the victim outside and crying, appearing to be in distress, according to the complaint. She told police that a friend of hers, later identified as 44-year-old James Willis, had grabbed her to stop her from calling 9-1-1.
The woman said Willis would stay with her some nights, but that night she asked him to leave and he refused. Before 4 a.m. an argument took place and when she tried to call the police, Willis reportedly held her against the headboard of her bed with his hand around her throat, leaving her gasping for air.
Willis was said to have gathered his belongings and left before police arrived. According to the complaint, police found various items in the apartment that were thrown and broken during the argument between Willis and the woman.
Police found Willis near the Undine Fire Company where he reportedly told police that he did grab the woman by the wrist to see who she was calling. It was noted that he told police he was homeless and was staying with the woman.
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Willis was taken into custody and placed in Centre County Prison. Court documents show that bail was denied, citing the safety of the victim.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 29.