Man accused of issuing death threat when woman reports assault

By Tanya Mitchell | Apr 26, 2013
Source: Waldo County Jail Justin Howard

Palermo — A Palermo man was arrested on several charges after police say he struck a woman in the face, damaged her car with a crowbar and threatened to kill her when she attempted to call police.

Justin Howard, 29 of Palermo, was arrested during the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 24, following a series of events that Waldo County Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton said began at about 12:40 a.m.

Police initially responded to an abandoned 911 call, which Trafton said is common in domestic situations because the assailant will typically take the phone away from the victim or try to destroy the phone as they are calling for help.

As dispatchers at Waldo County Regional Communications Center were using a Global Positioning System in an attempt to locate the caller, but Trafton said the female complainant called back a few minutes later.

"She stated [Howard] was destroying the house and that he had hit her in the face," said Trafton.

Trafton said the caller also stated Howard threatened to kill her if he ended up in jail as a result of her reporting his alleged activities to police.

Waldo County Deputy Dan Thompson and Sgt. James Greeley responded, and Trafton said when the officers arrived they learned Howard had been damaging the woman's car with a crowbar.

The officers separated Howard and the woman, and Trafton said while the woman had some injuries she did not require medical treatment.

"She was upset and scared," said Trafton.

Howard was arrested on charges of domestic violence assault, domestic violence terrorizing and domestic violence criminal mischief.

Trafton said while Howard admitted to damaging the vehicle, he would not admit to striking the woman.

Howard is scheduled to appear at Fifth District Court in Belfast Tuesday, May 21.

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