A Leesburg man was arrested for battering his wife after she threw out his beer during a verbal argument.
Police responded to a disturbance involving an intoxicated man, later identified as 46-year-old Ernest Bernard Cooper, hitting a female inside of an apartment on 902 Lucas Street at about 10:15 a.m. Sunday, according to arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department.
Upon the officer’s arrival, she found the distraught victim in the parking lot walking away from the apartment. She also observed the front door of the residence on the second floor to be open and a male voice yelling at an elderly woman standing outside in the doorway. She could hear the elderly woman yelling back telling the male to tell the truth and that he had no right to hit the victim, the report said.
The officer met with Cooper, who was pacing around the inside of the apartment while yelling he did not do anything at the elderly woman. A white garbage can was knocked over in the hallway, and trash was thrown around the room. At that time, another officer arrived on scene and tried to calm Cooper down while the officer spoke with the victim, the report said.
The victim, who has been married to Cooper for 15 years, explained that he began drinking beer at 3 that morning. This caused a verbal argument, and at some point, the victim threw his beers outside from the second floor window in retaliation. Cooper walked back upstairs to the residence, and the victim followed, the report said.
Once they went inside, Cooper pushed the victim into the trash can, and she had to catch herself to keep from falling. She then turned around to grab the trash can to throw back. Cooper stood behind her, placing his arm around her neck to pull her back. The officer did not see any physical injuries on the victim from this, and she declined medical services, the report said.
A witness advised that she observed the victim and Cooper on scene in an argument. Cooper was under the influence of alcohol and began to scream at the victim. When they went upstairs into the apartment, the witness could hear the victim scream something related to “let go of my neck,” the report said.
Cooper admitted that he and the victim were in a verbal argument, but he denied ever pushing her into the garbage can. He stated she threw the garbage can at him and that he placed his hand on her shirt to pull her back, the report said.
Subsequently, Cooper was detained and taken to the Leesburg Police Department for booking. During this, the officer could smell the odor of alcoholic beverages on Cooper’s breath while he spoke, the report said.
A check later revealed Cooper had two prior convictions for battery from April 1998 and March 2002, the report said.
Cooper was charged with simple battery (domestic). He was transported to the Lake County Jail and released after posting $2,000 bond.