Man accused of seriously injuring woman during fight

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - A man was arrested after he allegedly punched a woman in the throat in self-defense during a fight on February 14, according to the probable cause affidavit. The woman ended up in the hospital with serious injuries.

Bob Stockbridge, 44, was arrested on one count of domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old.  

At 8:15 p.m. on February 14, officers with the South Bend Police Department were called to a home on South Matthews Lane for a domestic dispute.

When officers arrived, they found a woman crawling in the front yard and saying, "I can't breathe" while bleeding from her mouth, reports said.

The woman told police her boyfriend, later identified as Stockbridge, punched her in the throat.

Stockbridge was the original 911 caller and told police he called because the woman attacked him, allegedly ripping his shirt and putting him in a chokehold.

Stockbridge said he defended himself by punching the woman in the throat.

911 tapes revealed the woman told Stockbridge multiple times she couldn't breathe.

Stockbridge had minor to no scratches on his hands and neck area, according to reports.

The woman was taken to the hospital on February 14 after showing signs of having trouble breathing.

At the time of the incident, two young children were at the home.

The children said they didn't see the incident but heard arguing.

911 tapes furthered revealed what happened on the night of the incident.

According to the tapes, Stockbridge told dispatch his girlfriend was intoxicated and was breaking items in the home.

The tapes then picked up the woman saying, "you punched me in the throat," and Stockbridge saying, "yeah" before continuing with the 911 call, reports said.

Stockbridge told the same thing to police during an interview, saying the woman was intoxicated and hit him approximately 40 times, put him in a chokehold, and walked up to him again while swinging her arms, police reports said.

Stockbridge responded by hitting her in the throat area with light force, saying he had enough of her and was afraid of her, according to police.

When confronted with the size difference between Stockbridge and the woman, Stockbridge said she is a "very strong woman" and again stated he didn't use much force when he punched her, reports said.

On February 15, police learned the woman was intubated at the hospital to help her breathe and was unconscious.

By February 16, the woman was conscious and the breathing tube was removed.

According to doctors, the woman had a laceration to the true vocal chord, fractured laryngeal cartilage and pneumomediastinum.

Pneumomediastinum can be life-threatening, according to the doctors.

Stockbridge is being held at the St. Joseph County Jail on a $5,000 cash bond.

His initial hearing is set for March 16.

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