An Idaho Falls man who reportedly choked and abused a woman was arrested Saturday.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Joshua Kirk Braithwaite, 36, had choked the victim a week prior until she passed out. The victim said Braithwaite has been regularly abusive toward her for the past three years.
The victim called the Idaho Falls Police Department after Braithwaite reportedly grabbed her and attempted to prevent her from entering her home. She said this happened in front of her children, and that Braithwaite was yelling expletives at the children.
The victim’s sister witnessed the confrontation, and also showed police text messages from Sept. 5 in which the victim said Braithwaite, “just beat the (expletive) out of me.”
According to the affidavit, the victim told police that she had woken Braithwaite up on Sept. 5 between 8 and 9 a.m. Braithwaite reportedly became aggressive and attempted to force the victim out of the residence.
Braithwaite reportedly continued to push the victim until she was near the door, then grabbed her head and slammed it against the door knob. He then reportedly grabbed the victim around the neck and began choking her. The victim said she could not breathe.
The victim told police she believed she was going to die. The officer described the victim as visibly afraid while describing being strangled.
“I could see the fear in (the victim’s) face as she told me this part of the story,” the officer wrote in the affidavit. “(She) said Joshua usually physically throws her out of the house, and she hoped he would do it again, so at least she would be alive.”
The victim said she blacked out for an unknown amount of time. She told police she ran upstairs to check on her infant son, and that Braithwaite followed her. She asked him if he was going to beat her in front of the baby. Braithwaite then reportedly changed his demeanor and began treating the victim kindly.
The affidavit states the officer observed bruises on the victim’s arms, shoulders, hip and knee.
The victim also described two prior incidents in which she was seriously injured after Braithwaite reportedly attacked her. One incident in 2018 led to her going to the hospital. The other, in April, led her to contact the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center.
Braithwaite denied to one officer that he had hurt the victim, and claimed she had attacked him. The investigator later learned from a second officer that Braithwaite had admitted to slapping the victim.
Braithwaite was charged with attempted strangulation, punishable with up to 15 years in prison, and felony domestic battery, punishable with up to 10 years in prison. An enhancement attached to the felony domestic battery case for commitment in the presence of a child raises the potential penalty to up to 20 years in prison.
Braithwaite’s bond was set at $60,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 23 in Bonneville District Court.