Attempt to repay debt leads to busted window, criminal charge

By Tanya Mitchell | Jul 17, 2012
Source: File image

Palermo — A local man was charged with domestic violence criminal mischief after he allegedly chased down a female acquaintance and kicked out one of her car windows after an apparent altercation over a $50 debt.

Ross Porter Howard, 28, of Palermo was charged with the crime after the woman drove to a relative's home in Somerville and called police to report Howard's alleged behavior.

Waldo County Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton said the alleged victim called for help at 1:14 p.m. Saturday, July 14, after she went to a residence on Gore Road in Palermo to give Howard back the $50 she told police she borrowed from him.

Trafton said when the woman knocked on the door, Howard's mother answered and instructed the woman to give her the $50 because Howard owed her money.

"I guess she didn't want to do that," said Trafton of the alleged victim.

The two women talked briefly before Howard emerged from the home, Trafton said, and from there the argument escalated. The woman told police she went back to her car to leave the residence at that point, Trafton said, but Howard attempted to prevent her from doing so.

"He grabbed [the alleged victim] by the arm and tried to drag her out of the car," said Trafton.

When that tactic didn't work, Trafton said, Howard kicked out one of the woman's car windows as she was leaving the driveway.

Trafton said the woman suffered minor scratches and scrapes on her arms and there was glass all through the inside of her vehicle, but she was not seriously injured in the incident.

Police went to meet the alleged victim at her relative's home in Somerville, and returned to Gore Road to speak with Howard.

"He admitted to kicking the window out," Trafton said.

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