Brunswick man charged after allegedly assaulting girlfriend, wrecking phone to thwart call for help

Posted March 19, 2014, at 9:45 a.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — In the second such case in two days, a Brunswick man was charged after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and then destroying her phone when she called for help.

James H. Russell Jr., 32, was charged Tuesday night with domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening and obstructing report of a crime. He remained in Cumberland County Jail on Wednesday morning, held on $5,000 bail.

Police responded to a call from a friend of the alleged victim just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and heard people arguing in the house, according to Deputy Chief Marc Hagan of the Brunswick Police Department.

A 33-year-old woman of Brunswick reported that Russell pushed her, strangled her and threatened to kill her, Hagan said. The victim said she locked herself in a bathroom to escape the attack, and when she tried to call a friend, Russell allegedly destroyed her phone, Hagan said.

The woman showed signs of bruising, scratches and other injuries to her face, neck and arms, according to police.

Russell is scheduled to appear in Portland Unified Court on May 6.

On Monday night, officers charged Randel Phillips Jr. of Brunswick with domestic violence assault and obstructing report of a crime. Phillips allegedly attacked a 25-year-old woman, slapping her face and causing small cuts to her face and arms, Hagan said Tuesday. Phillips then allegedly took her cellphone when she attempted to call police.

The domestic violence assault charge was elevated to a Class C felony due to Phillips’ prior conviction. Bail was set at $10,000.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.

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