Man arrested on strangulation charges

May 2—NORWALK — Members of the Norwalk Police Department responded to a West Elm Street residence Monday for a reported domestic violence incident.

During the initial investigation by Capt. Thomas Cook and Officer James Kramer, it was learned a 38-year-old Norwalk male had placed his hands around the neck of a 58-year-old male family member and applied pressure in an attempt to impede the victim's breathing.

Based on a new Ohio law that took effect on April 3, the 38-year-old male was charged with strangulation, a felony of the fifth degree — the first such arrest on this charge in the city of Norwalk. In addition, the male was charged with domestic violence, a felony of the fourth degree, based on prior conviction of domestic violence.

The Strangulation Law was part of several changes to the Ohio Revised Code as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 288. The bill was a product of nearly two years of work by state lawmakers and various agencies and groups. The bill passed in both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine on Jan. 3, 2023.

According to the Strangulation Training Institute, women who have been strangled by their partners are 750 percent more likely to be murdered than domestic violence victims who have not experienced strangulation. When a similar law went into effect in Minnesota, that state saw a 61 percent increase in cases charged and the conviction rate increased from 17 to 38 percent.

With the passage of this legislation, it gives law enforcement officers the ability to put more domestic violence offenders behind bars and for a longer time.

All Norwalk Police Officers are being trained in this law as part of the Ohio Attorney General's Continuing Professional Training program and we commend Capt. Cook and Officer Kramer on their enforcement actions that night, Norwalk Chief Dave Smith said in a release.

If you are a victim or someone you know is a victim of Domestic Violence, please report those incidents to law enforcement. If you are not comfortable filing a police report, counseling and temporary shelter can be obtained through Safe Harbour (800-953-2207) and Mansfield Domestic Violence Shelter (800-931-7233).

These numbers can be called 24 hours a day. Additional assistance can be obtained during business hours through Huron County Victim's Assistance Program, 419-663-3839.