St. Croix man arrested, charged with assaulting woman and her infant son


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ST. CROIX - A 25-year old man remains jailed after being taken into custody Monday night on charges that he assaulted a woman and tried to choke her 11-month-old son.

Robert Clarke of Louis E. Browne housing community appeared in Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning, where Magistrate Jessica Gallivan advised him of his rights on charges of unlawful entry, simple assault and battery and second-degree assault.

According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police Officer Moses Francis, the woman told police that she and Clarke were outside her home when an argument began about 3 p.m.

She said she realized the argument was escalating, so she told Clarke to leave and ran up the stairs to her apartment and locked the door. She told police that moments later she realized Clarke had opened the door with a spare key, and said that she had never given him a key to her apartment and did not know he had one.

The woman told police that Clarke barged into the home, knocking her and her 11-month-old baby to the ground as he pushed the door in. She said he began cursing at her, and when she tried to leave the apartment, he pushed her back inside, causing her to fall to the ground, and kicked her repeatedly.

The woman said Clarke then picked up the baby and threw him into the apartment, then walked up to him and put his hand around the baby's neck and began squeezing as the child cried.

She said when Clarke moved away from the child, he attacked her again and ripped down her clothes and punched her repeatedly about her body, according to Francis' affidavit. She said when she began crying louder and screamed for help, Clarke ran from the house and left the area.

The woman called police and reported the assault and was transported to Luis Hospital, where she received treatment for contusions, swelling to her face and a lump on her forehead. Francis said the woman was visibly shaken and her clothes were torn when she and the child were treated.

Francis said police interviewed Clarke about the incident about 11 p.m. and he provided a written statement to police.

Clarke told police that he and the woman were arguing but that he never assaulted her and that the bruises she had were a result of her throwing herself down. He admitted to police that he and the woman were outside the apartment and she told him not to come inside, but he did anyway, according to the affidavit.

Gallivan set Clarke's bail at $25,000 and ordered his release if he could post at least 10 percent of the bail amount in cash, be placed in the custody of a third-party custodian and then be placed on 24-hour house arrest with the use of an electronic monitoring device.

Gallivan said she had reviewed the police report and was alarmed by Clarke's behavior and concerned for the safety of the woman and the child as well as others in the community.

Unable to meet the conditions of release, Clarke remains jailed at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility.

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

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