A Corvallis man identified by a tattoo of lips on his abdomen faces a felony charge that he strangled his girlfriend following a domestic squabble Wednesday.
Adrian Joseph Eslinger, 30, appeared in Ravalli County Justice Court Thursday on a felony count of partner or family member assault by strangulation and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a peace officer.
Ravalli County deputies took a report on Wednesday from a woman who said Eslinger had assaulted her near the trailer house owned by “hippy Don” in Stevensville where they had been staying, according to the charging affidavit.
The woman told deputies that she woke up in a bad mood and was complaining about it to Eslinger. When he thought she was calling him names, the affidavit said Eslinger allegedly began throwing her belongings around, smashing things and telling her to get out.
The woman said Eslinger threw her belongings out in front of the trailer. As she was picking up her things, she reported that Eslinger came running at her.
At that point, she said she pulled out her buck knife and got ready because Eslinger had assaulted her before, the affidavit said. The woman said Eslinger threw her to the ground and tossed the knife away.
As she was curled on the ground, the woman said Eslinger allegedly began punching her in the head before he began to strangle her with a hand around her throat. The affidavit said the woman reported that lasted about 30 seconds before she was able to wiggle her way out from under him.
She told the deputies her throat was still hurting and she was having problems swallowing.
After she got free, the woman said Eslinger grabbed her knife and stabbed it into a bed in the camper.
The deputies responded to Christianson Lane, where they located a man that matched Eslinger’s description. The man said he was James Walker and provided a different date of birth.
When the officers showed the man a photograph of Eslinger, he admitted that it looked like him but was a skinnier version.
The deputies confirmed Eslinger’s identity through a tattoo of lips on his abdomen. At that point, the affidavit said Eslinger confirmed that he had lied about his identity because he panicked.
Eslinger told deputies that he woke up that day to the woman trying to stab him, so he walked outside to smoke a cigarette, the affidavit said. He denied striking or strangling the woman.
Deputies later observed a stab hole potentially from a knife in a bed in the camper on the property.
Ravalli County Acting Justice Michael Reardon set bond at $20,000.