A Leesburg man accused of strangling and biting his girlfriend’s face had to be airlifted to a hospital in Orlando after crashing his vehicle during a recent high-speed police chase.
Robert Allen Whittington, 44, was charged with domestic battery by strangulation and fleeing and eluding law enforcement with lights and siren active. He was also charged on an active warrant for petit theft.
A Lake County sheriff’s deputy responded to a residence on Holland Drive, where the victim’s daughter said Whittington had battered her mother and left the residence in what she described as a “black BMW.” The vehicle was later discovered to be a blue 2003 BMW, according to the sheriff’s office report.
Deputies observed Whittington’s vehicle leaving the area of Harbor Shores Road and tried to stop it using their lights and sirens. Whittington fled at a high speed and deputies caught up to the vehicle in the area of County Road 452 and South Fish Camp Road. The vehicle had been involved in a crash with another vehicle and was abandoned, the report said.
Deputies found Whittington in a wooded area northeast of the crash scene. Lake County Fire Rescue and EMS arrived at the scene to assess everyone’s injuries and it was determined Whittington needed to be taken by air to Orlando Regional Medical Center for further evaluation, according to the report.
The victim told a deputy she and Whittington got into an argument about how she should do her schoolwork and the spat escalated to the point where they started calling each other names. She said Whittington grabbed her by the neck and pushed her into the couch while telling her to stop calling him names. The victim said she became lightheaded and was unable to breathe while Whittington had her by the neck. She said once Whittington let go of her, the argument continued and he called the victim’s daughter a “whore,” the report said.
The victim said argument escalated and Whittington threw a vacuum cleaner into her right leg, which was previously injured and scarred from cancer. She said Whittington held her down by her neck again, causing her to become lightheaded and unable to breathe. The victim said she was able to get away and told Whitting to leave, but he said, “no,” and then grabbed her and bit her cheek. The victim said she then called her daughter, who called 911 and reported the incident, according to the report.
The victim told the deputy she is fearful of Whittington and the possible retaliation that might happen because of this incident. She also said she feels brainwashed by him. The victim said she has dated Whittington off and on for about five years and they currently live together at the incident location, the report said.
The deputy observed marks around the victim’s neck that appeared to be from being choked. The victim also had a bite mark on her right cheek, a bruised and swollen lump on the left side of her forehead and bruised abrasions on the back of her neck. She said she did not need medical attention, according to the report.
After getting out of the hospital on Thursday, Whittington was taken to the Lake County Jail, where he was released Friday on $25,000 bond. He’s due to appear in Lake County Court on May 24.