A man given a deferred sentence in April for assaulting his girlfriend appeared in court Wednesday on a charge alleging he choked the same woman Tuesday outside a downtown Billings thrift store.
Darrell Arthur Ridge, 54, appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court on a charge of felony partner or family member assault. Judge David A. Carter set bond at $35,000 and ordered him to wear a GPS monitor if bail is posted.
In April, District Judge Ingrid Gustafson gave Ridge a three-year-deferred sentence for the same charge involving the same victim. Ridge also was convicted twice last year of misdemeanor domestic assault, according to court records.
Police arrested him Tuesday after an employee at a St. Vincent De Paul thrift store, 2610 Montana Ave., reported that a man was outside choking a woman, charging documents state.
When officers arrived, they spoke with a woman, who said her boyfriend of several months, Ridge, had come up behind her and started choking her after pushing her friend to the ground, court records say.
The woman had fallen to the ground and hit her head during the alleged attack. An ambulance was requested and she was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare for treatment.
An officer photographed her injuries, which included a black left eye, redness around her neck and multiple fresh bruises, charging documents say.
The woman told police that she and Ridge had recently moved in together and that he had been drinking heavily for several days. She said she was afraid to go home because Ridge randomly beats her, so she had started living on the street with her friend, who she said Ridge had pushed to the ground.
Officers found Ridge and arrested him.