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Police: Man strangled victim, took victim's car with child still inside

Posted at 1:05 PM, Jun 17, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee man is behind bars after police say he strangled a victim while she was driving and later fled the scene in the victim's car with a young child still inside.

According to court documents, Tallahassee police responded to the Dollar Tree on West Tennessee Street in regards to a suspicious incident that occurred on June 14.

Police say call notes indicated a woman was in the parking lot, screaming someone tried to kill her and that they had taken her child. When officers arrived on scene, they found the hysterical victim surrounded by a group of people.

Police say there were noticeable red marks around the victim's neck and EMS confirmed that the marks were consistent with the victim being strangled.

The victim told police that she was at home when Rodney Davis, 29, showed up unannounced. Documents say Davis accused her of being in a relationship with another man, which led to an argument between the two.

During the argument, the victim said Davis placed both his hands around her neck and squeezed until she passed out. When she woke up, the victim said she offered to drive Davis to the alleged boyfriend house to prove that there was no relationship between them.

While the victim was driving, court documents say the victim and Davis started arguing again. For a second time, the victim said Davis began choking her, this time assaulting her while she was driving.

Police note that a 4-year-old little boy was also in the backseat of the car while Davis assaulted the victim.

The victim told police that she pulled over in the Dollar Tree parking because she was concerned about the child's safety. While in the parking lot, the victim said she jumped out the car and attempted to flag down bystanders.

But when the the victim got outside the vehicle, Davis hopped in the driver seat and fled the scene with the child still inside. Witnesses also told police that they saw Davis try and restrain the victim and could hear a child crying in the background.

Documents say the victim was later transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for her injuries.

After speaking with the victim and witnesses, police quickly located the victim's vehicle on West Tennessee Street. Investigators stopped the vehicle in a parking lot on Mission Road. Officers then secured the child and immediately arrested Davis.

According to documents, Davis was transported to the Leon County Detention Facility. He is being charged with domestic battery by strangulation and child neglect. As of Monday, he remains in jail on a $6,000 bond.