Police: Man assaulted woman for rejecting card

A rejected Valentine’s Day card led to an assault of a woman in Juniata, according to police.

Jaime L. Koch, 45, allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend, with whom he still shares a home on the 1100 block of North Eighth Avenue, after she rejected a Valentine’s Day card he tried to give her on Tuesday.

Police noted in the charges filed before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker that Koch tried giving her the card, and she told him she didn’t want it, sending Koch into a rage in which he grabbed her “in the facial area and began to blow his ‘foul smelling breath’ into the victim’s face.”

The woman pulled away, grabbed her small dog and ran toward the bathroom, but Koch caught her before she got there. Police allege Koch grabbed his ex-girlfriend by the neck and began strangling her until she started to see spots.

Koch allegedly told her he would kill her as he squeezed her neck, and she lost consciousness to the point she dropped the dog.

The woman was able to get away and lock herself in the bathroom, but Koch pounded on the door and yelled, “This should be your (expletive) face,” police said.

The ex-girlfriend waited in the bathroom and emerged after she thought he had left the house, but police said as she walked to her bedroom, Koch threw a large, glass jar candle and hit her in the leg and then ran out the front door.

The woman didn’t call police at that time because she said she is dependent on Koch for money, and she thought he would leave her alone the rest of the night.

Koch allegedly returned about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and started kicking the door of the house. Police said Koch told his ex-girlfriend he wanted to be let inside and had the dog’s medication. She refused, and he ultimately used a crowbar to open the steel door, police said.

When Koch forced the door open, she told him she was calling police before he raised the crowbar over his head and told her he would come and go as he pleased. Koch then threw the dog medication at her and ran off, police said.

Koch was later taken into custody by Altoona police and arraigned Thursday morning on a felony strangulation charge along with misdemeanor counts of simple assault and terroristic threats. He was jailed after failing to post 10 percent of $25,000 and is scheduled to appear at Central Court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

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