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Darby man charged with strangulation
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Darby man charged with strangulation

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Patrick Flaherty Jr.

Patrick Flaherty Jr.

A Darby man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly strangling a woman and meeting sheriff’s deputies with a pistol in his hand.

Patrick Flaherty, Jr., appeared Tuesday before Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray on felony counts of strangulation of a partner or family member and assault on a peace officer.

According to the charging affidavit, Ravalli County sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported altercation that had allegedly occurred at about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 17 on Old Darby Road.

The alleged victim told the deputy who responded to the call that she had a stressful day at work, according to charging documents. After getting home, she and Flaherty had dinner and a couple of alcoholic beverages before getting into an argument.

The woman decided to go to bed. She said Flaherty started sending her text messages. When she left the bedroom to tell Flaherty to stop, she said he began calling her vulgar names and then attempted to call her ex-husband, the charging affidavit said.

At that point, the affidavit said the woman grabbed Flaherty’s phone from him. He alleged then shoved her to the floor, got on top of her, placed both hands around her neck and began strangling her, according to the charging affidavit. The woman told the deputy Flaherty applied “an immense amount of pressure.” The deputy observed bruising and redness around the woman’s neck.

The woman said she thought she was going to die, according to the affidavit. She said she attempted to claw his hands and force him to release his grip. The charging affidavit noted Flaherty allegedly said to the woman: “You can’t breathe, can you?”

After Flaherty released her, she got into her vehicle and drove to a friend’s home where they called law enforcement, the charging affidavit said.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived at Flaherty’s home, he allegedly exited the residence holding a handgun, the affidavit said. The affidavit also said Flaherty initially refused to put the handgun down, but finally did so after being ordered three times by law enforcement officers.

During the interaction, one officer said he believed Flaherty intended to use the handgun to potentially shoot him.

Ray set bail at $50,000.

In other justice court news:

• Jessi Renee Dowless, 28, of Darby was charged with felony criminal possession of heroin and misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Dowless was arrested following a traffic stop at a grocery store in Florence.

Ray set bail at $10,000.

• Jeffery Brandon Zabolotney, 33, of Florence was charged for felony sexual abuse of children for allegedly possessing child pornography.

According to the charging affidavit, a thumb drive turned over to the sheriff’s office by Zabolotney’s wife contained hundreds of photographs and videos of preadolescent children exhibiting sexual conduct.

Ray set bail at $200,000.

• Jason Lee Trisdale, 40, of Florence was charged with third offense partner or family assault.

According to the charging document, the alleged victim told a sheriff’s deputy that Trisdale had come home intoxicated and angry on Nov. 11. She said he yelled at her and her father about the dog and walked outside to leave “and find a new wife.”

The woman was concerned he would leave in their pickup truck while intoxicated. She attempted to reach through the driver’s window to retrieve the keys. The affidavit said Trisdale grabbed her arm and twisted it before closing the window on the woman’s arm.

When confronted by law enforcement, the affidavit said Trisdale claimed he hadn’t done anything to the woman “this time,” but admitted that he had assaulted her in the past.

Ray set bail at $50,000.

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