A male student was arrested on domestic violence charges for a physical altercation that took place in a campus parking lot shortly before midnight on Saturday, Oct. 28. He was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault.
The man was booked in Whatcom County Jail after grabbing his girlfriend, a fellow student, by the arm and refusing to let go, at which point she hit him with her water bottle, according to the police report.
A witness observed the couple yelling at each other in parking lot 17G in the 100 block of East College Drive. The witness called University Police at 11:24 p.m.
The witness report described the woman striking the man and pursuing him to the ground. The witness told police it looked like the man was on the ground being choked by the woman.
The couple denied that the man had been choked, according to the police report.
The responding officer, Todd Osborn, said that both the man and woman had no signs of physical injury.
Osborn spoke to the man and woman individually.
She told the officer the couple argued often and it isn't uncommon for her boyfriend to grab her to keep her from leaving.
She also said he will often remain in her residence after she asks him to leave, according to the police report.
The man told Osborn his girlfriend was attempting to leave, so he grabbed her arm and told her she couldn't go until she calmed down.
He said he does this from time to time, and that he needs to find a better way of dealing with these fights, according to the police report.
Because the man physically restrained his girlfriend until she used what Osborn described as "a reasonable amount of force to free herself," and because both parties said this wasn't the first time he had physically restrained her, Osborn decided there was probable cause to arrest the man.
Anyone seeking help or support in situations of domestic violence, sexual assault or harassment may contact Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, Consultation and Sexual Assault Support or the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center.