Michael Simmonds of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested Sunday after his girlfriend accused him of physically attacking her during an argument, reports say. Simmonds, 28, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on multiple charges, including battery, domestic battery through strangulation, and false imprisonment. He was released on Monday after posting a $15,000 bail bond. It is not yet known whether Simmonds has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
Reports say that police first learned of the alleged abuse in April. A woman later identified as the victim reported a robbery to the Delray Beach police department, claiming that she believed her ex-boyfriend had broken into her home. The woman has not been publicly identified due to the nature of the case. Police reports indicate that the robber took various items from the home that a normal thief would not have been interested in while leaving cash and other valuables untouched. The stolen items were not specified in reports.
During interviews with police detectives, the woman purported that the altercation, which apparently went unreported to authorities at first, occurred on the night of March 3. The victim had just gotten off work at a bar in Fort Lauderdale, where Simmonds had been drinking with a group of friends. The victim alleged that Simmonds wanted to drive home, but that she did not let him since he was intoxicated. The pair then got into an argument, which continued even once they had reached the woman’s residence. The victim reportedly began preparing a meal when Simmonds approached her and picked up a knife. He then reportedly tried cutting himself on the hand, while telling the victim “I love you so much, I would bleed for you,” police reports indicate.
At that point, the victim reported that she was afraid and asked Simmonds to leave; however, another argument allegedly broke out. The victim alleges that Simmonds followed her into her bedroom, pinned her on her bed, and began to strangle her. During that time, she alleges that Simmonds spit in her face. This, she reported, worried her because Simmonds is purportedly HIV positive (please note that HIV is not transferrable through saliva).
After more than 40 minutes of fighting, the victim said she was able to escape Simmonds momentarily. She described running outside and attempting to jump her fence, but Simmonds was too quick and allegedly yanked her back by her hair. She then purports that he hauled her back inside and attacked her once more.
When the ordeal ended, the victim claimed Simmonds left her home. She then said she bathed and took pictures of her bruising. Reportedly ashamed and afraid, the victim said she isolated herself from the outside world for a few of days, during which time she allegedly received a number of apologetic messages from Simmonds on her cell phone.
During police questioning, Simmonds refuted the accusations, saying he only struck the woman with his elbow during the quarrel, and that it was by accident. He also reportedly told officer that he was under the influence of heroin during the alleged attack and could not remember all the details.