Man arrested after saying he was assaulted by girlfriend

2014-06-30T18:15:00Z 2014-07-01T14:29:02Z Man arrested after saying he was assaulted by girlfriendBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A man arrested after telling police he was hit five or six times by his girlfriend made an initial court appearance Monday on a felony assault charge.

According to charging documents, 40-year-old Maurice Roger Bate told police, who responded Sunday to a disturbance reported on the 300 block of Foster Lane, that his girlfriend hit him and “fish hooked” his mouth with her fingers.

An officer “noted the defendant did not have any visible injuries,” court records say.

Police then spoke with the alleged victim, who said she hit Bate after he grabbed her and threw her to the floor. She said he had gone on to choke her and tell her he was going to kill her.

The woman, who had a six-inch scratch on her arm, told police that Bate had also taken the phone from her and removed its battery.

An officer spoke with Bate, who said that his girlfriend had been in the process of calling 911 when he took out the phone battery, which he hid in a shoe.

Bate appeared Monday before Justice Court Judge Pro Tem Kelly Gallinger on a felony partner or family member assault charge and misdemeanor count of criminal destruction of or tampering with a communication device.

The judge set bond at $7,500 and ordered Bate not to have any contact with the alleged victim and to appear July 3 for arraignment in District Court.

According to prosecutors, Bate has prior convictions for stalking, domestic assault and DUI.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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