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Schuyler man accused of assaulting girlfriend in store

COLUMBUS — A 47-year-old Schuyler man is accused of slapping his girlfriend in the face and head multiple times and threatening to kill her while inside a Columbus retail store before an employee intervened over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa scheduled Mario Izquierdo Sotolongo for arraignment Monday on charges of terroristic threats, third-degree domestic assault and third-degree assault in connection with the 6:49 p.m. Saturday incident at JCPenney in Village Centre Mall.

Skorupa set bond for Sotolongo at $75,000, 10 percent allowed for release, during a brief hearing Monday. The defendant, who appeared via video link from the county jail, remained in custody on Tuesday.

The judge ordered Sotolongo not to go within three blocks of the victim’s Schuyler residence if he is released on bond.

Court documents describe a clash between Sotolongo and his 35-year-old girlfriend, also of Schuyler, that began shortly after the couple entered the department store.

“While in the store, Sotolongo hit her in the back of her head with an open hand,” Columbus Police Officer Santiago Velasquez wrote in his probable cause statement supporting the defendant’s arrest.

Sotolongo then pulled the victim’s hair and continued to hit his girlfriend in the face and head multiple times before the defendant grabbed her keys and left the store, court documents say.

As Sotolongo was leaving, the victim reported her boyfriend saying, "I’m going to kill you," Velasquez wrote in his statement.

A store employee who witnessed the violent encounter reported seeing the defendant strike his girlfriend at least four times before attempting to shield the victim. The employee said she was struck at least once on her forearm while trying to protect the victim.

Velasquez said the victim said she was afraid to return to her home in Schuyler because Sotolongo knew the pass code to enter the residence.


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