Mitchell Paul Ruchti

Mitchell Paul Ruchti

POCATELLO — A 40-year-old Pocatello man was arrested Saturday after police say he violated a no-contact order, struck his mother several times in the head and strangled her until she passed out.

Mitchell Paul Ruchti was arrested around 1 a.m. Saturday, charged with felony aggravated assault as well as a misdemeanor for violating a no-contact order and was booked into the Bannock County Jail, according to police reports the Idaho State Journal obtained Tuesday.

The incident began to unfold shortly after midnight Saturday when Pocatello police received a report from Ruchti’s mother that her son had battered her. There was an existing no-contact order between Ruchti and his mother stemming from an incident between the two in July that resulted in Ruchti being charged with one felony count of aggravated battery.

During the July incident, Ruchti struck his mother several times, strangled her, dragged her through the house by her hair and slammed her into the floor, Pocatello police said in its July police report.

When police arrived at Ruchti’s mother’s house on Saturday, she said that Ruchti was released from jail about a month ago in relation to that case and had nowhere to go so he began staying with her, despite the no-contact order, police said.

The mother told police that she and Ruchti had been drinking all day and that she wanted to quit and go to bed and that angered Ruchti, police said. While lying down, the mother said Ruchti came into her room and told her he was going to kill her before strangling her until she passed out, according to police reports.

He is also alleged to have struck her several times in the back and head area.

The mother showed police her injuries, which included bruising on her back, on the back of her head and on the left side of her face. The mother was transported to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello via ground ambulance but denied treatment upon her arrival and was released, police said.

According to police reports, when the officers interviewed Ruchti he initially acted as if he was asleep but when officers turned the lights on he appeared fully awake and said, “I’m getting arrested, aren’t I?”

Ruchti said that he was unaware of what happened to his mother and that both of them had been drinking for four or five days straight leading up to the incident, police said. Ruchti was unable to tell officers what day it was, first saying it was Oct. 9 and then correcting himself to Oct. 19, though the date was Oct. 16, police said.

Ruchti was subsequently charged with felony aggravated battery and a misdemeanor for violating a no-contact order, arrested and booked into jail.

Ruchti appeared in front of 6th District Judge David Hooste on Monday via video conference from the jail, during which Ruchti’s bond was set at $50,000. The no-contact order between Ruchti and his mother was also renewed, according to court records.

Ruchti is due back in court on Oct. 25 for a hearing in which prosecutors will attempt to prove there is enough evidence against him to elevate the case from the magistrate to district court level for trial.

If convicted of the two felony aggravated battery charges from the incidents on Saturday and in July, Ruchti faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. The misdemeanor no-contact order violation charge carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.