A Poynette man was arrested by City of Portage police officers on Sept. 6 after he allegedly punched a woman multiple times in the face outside the Ridge Motor Inn.
Cameron M. Crawford, 31, was charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety of a person, which is a Class G felony in Columbia County. He is additionally charged with counts of disorderly conduct, battery and criminal damage to property — all domestic abuse misdemeanors.
According to the criminal complaint, Sergeant Benjamin Neumann, and another Portage police officer, were dispatched to the hotel, 2900 New Pinery Road, around 3:30 p.m. for a disturbance call. Neumann was then told to contact the female victim at the McDonald’s across the street from the hotel. Neumann noted that the victim had a bloody nose and lip.
The victim told the officer that she and Crawford were visiting one of his friends at the hotel, whom they had met with the previous day.
The report states that the victim said she received a call and text message from an ex-boyfriend, which Crawford found out about and did not like. He became upset, the two began arguing, and Crawford started yelling derogatory names toward the victim.
The victim attempted to leave and was gathering her belongings from Crawford’s car. At that point, Crawford grabbed the victim and held both her arms from within the driver’s side front window and began to drive away. She stated that Crawford was driving around 10 mph in the parking lot of the hotel. Neumann reported that the victim was “being dragged by the vehicle” and noted that he saw “scuff marks on her footwear.”
It was then that the complaint states that Crawford allegedly punched the victim three or four times with a closed fist. Neumann noticed that the victim had redness and swelling on her forehead — which were consistent with being struck — as well as dried blood in her nostrils and small lacerations on her lips.
The complaint also identifies a male witness — the friend who the two were seeing at the hotel — who saw the incident from near the entry/exit doors of the hotel parking lot.
According to the complaint, the witness said, “while Cameron held (victim) in the front driver’s window of the vehicle, Cameron drove off at a very high rate of speed.” The witness added that he saw the victim’s legs lift off the ground and was holding them up in hopes of not being dragged.
The witness also heard the victim say, “stop hitting me” and “no, no, no,” according to the report. The victim was able to break free from Crawford and he drove away, at a high rate of speed. He later came back, drove back and forth, and yelled a threat to the victim before finally fleeing the scene, heading south. The witness then assisted the victim in the hotel parking lot.
Prior to breaking free, the victim also stated that Crawford threw her cellphone out the window, damaging it. She had dropped it in the vehicle while trying to escape Crawford’s grasp.
As of Sept. 14, Crawford remained in custody at the Columbia County Jail on a $2,000 signature bond.
Crawford faces up to $46,000 in fines and up to 11 years and nine months in jail. He had his initial appearance on Sept. 9 in front of Columbia County Judge Todd Hepler, where standard felony conditions were set, along with the bond. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Oct. 5 with a return in front of a judge on Oct. 18.