Man sought by police in connection with assault on woman turns himself in


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ST. CROIX - A man wanted by police for more than a week after police said he repeatedly punched a woman and then choked her, made his initial court appearance in V.I. Superior Court on Wednesday, after turning himself in to officers Tuesday night.

Trevor Clarke, 29, of Hannah's Rest appeared before Magistrate Miguel Camacho and was advised of his rights on charges of second-degree assault, third-degree assault and simple assault in connection with an incident that a woman reported to police on April 26.

Police said she reported that Clarke punched her and then choked her, causing her to fear for her life.

According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police Officer Moses Francis, the woman told police that she, Clarke and her mother were driving in a vehicle together about 10 a.m. April 26 when an argument ensued. She said the argument escalated as Clarke spewed a number of derogatory comments and accusations towards her.

She said Clarke became irate and began punching her once they got outside her home while they still were in the vehicle. She said he punched her in the face and upper body then put both his hands around her neck and began choking her, squeezing her throat to the point that she could not breathe and was struggling and fighting for her life, trying to get free.

According to the court document, the woman said she had almost lost consciousness but managed to break free from Clarke and ran from the vehicle, into her apartment and locked the door so he could not get to her, and then she called police for assistance.

She reported that last-week's assault was not the first time that Clarke had assaulted her and that he had done so on at least four previous occasions, but she never reported the incidents to police because she expected the relationship to improve.

Her mother told police that she did not witness the assault and had left the car once they arrived at the house and the argument still was going on.

Francis said police launched a search for Clarke at that time but were unable to make contact with him to discuss the allegations.

The V.I. Police Department issued a wanted poster Monday night, and just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, he surrendered to police at the Wilbur Francis Police Station in Frederiksted and was arrested.

Francis said Clarke initially refused to give police a statement about the allegations but then voluntarily admitted that he had assaulted the woman.

He told officers, he punched her and choked her and laughed as he bragged that the woman had already been trying to have the charges dismissed against him, according to the police report.

Bail for Clarke was set at $50,000 and he will be allowed released on the posting of 10 percent of the bail amount and the presentation of a suitable third-party custodian.

Tuesday's arrest was not the first for Clarke. According to court documents, he was arrested in January 2005 and charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence. Two months later he was charged with forgery and passing counterfeit bills.

In January 2006, he was took a plea agreement to the lesser included crime of third-degree robbery and was sentenced to six years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to forgery in the subsequent case and was sentenced to a five-year suspended prison sentence.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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