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Man arrested for beating pregnant woman

Posted at 7:26 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 19:26:11-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A Southwest Florida man is arrested after allegedly beating a 6-month pregnant woman.

Police say they found 24-year-old Joseph Newell straddling the woman's neck with his hands and arms while intoxicated.

Cape Coral Police Department responded to the disturbance call on Monday.

According to the police report, deputies found the victim's face covered in blood when they arrived.

The report goes on to say deputies ordered Newell to let her go, but he would not stop.

That victim confirmed to FOX 4 she is Newell's wife.

She told Fox 4 the reason Newell did this is because he thought she had caught Coronavirus, COVID-19.

Newell's arrest report says deputies had to use what they call 'pain compliance' on Newell's neck to get him to comply to the officers commands.

Once in handcuffs, officials say Newell began rambling about the victim having COVID-19 and then he began banging his head on the cement ground.

"We haven't really seen our numbers increase because of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean that they won't," said Christine Kobie, with the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center.

Kobie says during times of stress, the center will get an increase in domestic violence calls.

"Anytime we see a decline in work, people losing their jobs, or overall just a loss of power and control on a daily situation, stress rises, and we definitely will see an increase of domestic violence incidents," said Kobie.

ACT helps victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

"ACT is operating 24/7, we still have our emergency safe shelters that are open, we still have our helplines that are open," said Kobie.

With health officials advising people to maintain social distance, ACT is making sure to still be able to provide services.

"We're doing those counseling appointments virtually as an option," said Kobie.

For more information or to contact ACT, click here.