OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend once and then choking her to the point she could not breathe when she called him abusive.
Around 8 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel on the Boardwalk at 2nd Street for a reported domestic dispute. Officers met with a hotel employee who told police he had heard loud banging coming from a room on the fourth floor and advised his manager to call the police.
OCPD officers went to the room and found a female victim with multiple injuries including red scratches all along the front of her neck and also on her arms. The victim told police her boyfriend, later identified as Oscar Perez-Torres, 25, of Lancaster, Pa., had assaulted her. Perez-Torres was not at the hotel but returned a short time later and OCPD officers located him sitting next to a vehicle in the hotel’s overflow parking lot.
OCPD officers were able to identify Perez-Torres because the victim had shown them a picture of him on her phone. Perez-Torres told police he was attempting to leave the hotel room, but the victim would not let him leave. Perez-Torres told police the victim had hit him in the mouth with an open hand, and that he had pushed her out of the way so he could leave the room.
However, the victim told police a different version of the events. The victim said just before police arrived, Perez-Torres had struck her in the face and she fell to the floor. While the victim was on the floor, Perez-Torres punched her multiple times in the body. Ironically, the victim told police Perez-Torres was assaulting her because she had called him an “abuser,” according to police reports.
Perez-Torres reportedly asked the victim over and over in Spanish “Who is the abuser?” as he choked her and pinned her against the bed in the hotel room.
The victim told police Perez-Torres continued to choke her and squeeze her neck tighter and tighter to the point she could only breathe “a little bit,” according to police reports. The victim did admit kicking Perez-Torres in an attempt to defend herself.
The victim told police Perez-Torres’ abuse of her began with a separate incident the night before. She said around 9 p.m. the night before the couple was walking on the sidewalk at 2nd Street when Perez-Torres allegedly grabbed by the hair from behind and accused her of taking his wallet. The victim told police an unidentified female came to her assistance and the Good Samaritan got into an altercation with Perez-Torres after he stopped grabbing his girlfriend by the hair.
The investigation determined the two separate assault cases had occurred within 48 hours and that Perez-Torres was the primary aggressor. The victim told police she had been assaulted by Perez-Torres numerous times in the past but had never reported it or done anything about it.
Based on the evidence and testimony, Perez-Torres was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault. Perez-Torres was ordered to be held without bond initially, but was released on recognizance on Wednesday. A preliminary hearing has been set for July 31.