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Florence police: 2 charged in separate choking attacks on girlfriends

James Offutt, Rodney Smith

The Florence Police Department arrested 2 men Thursday in separate alleged attacks against women.

Posted: Mar. 15, 2019 8:22 AM

The Florence Police Department arrested 2 men Thursday in separate alleged attacks against women.

The first arrest was made at 4 p.m. when James D. Offutt, 20, was arrested on Cox Creek Parkway.

Sgt. Gregory Cobb, Florence police spokesman, said Offutt was involved in an argument with his girlfriend at her apartment on Helton Drive that turned into a physical altercation when he pushed her.

During the altercation, he choked her to the point of causing bruising and marks on her neck, Cobb said. During this time she was holding her child and Offutt would not let her leave the apartment, Cobb said.

Offutt was charged with domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation and transported to the Lauderdale County Detention Center. Bond was set at $9,000.

The second arrest was made at 5 p.m. when Rodney L. Smith, 29, was arrested in the 400 block of N Oneal Street.

Cobb said Smith was involved in an argument with his girlfriend and that he he grabbed her in a choke hold and knocked her to the ground. He then continued to choke her until another person contacted the police, Cobb said. When officers arrived, they found Smith left the residence but he was stopped a short distance away.

Smith was charged with domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation and transported to the Lauderdale County Detention Center. Bond was set at $5,000.

Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation is a Class B Felony.

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