Man accused of biting, strangling girlfriend


BENNINGTON -- Police said a message sent to them on Facebook alleging a woman had been bitten in the hand and face led them to arrest a Bennington man for domestic assault.

Michael J. Ritter, 22, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to first degree aggravated domestic assault, and two counts misdemeanor domestic assault. He was held without bail pending a hearing to be held March 13 that will determine what, if any, conditions he can be released on.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Lawrence Cole, on Saturday a woman wrote on the Bennington Police Department's Facebook page that she received a text message from her sister saying she got, "beat an got bit in the face by her boyfriend an she's carrying his child."

Police met with the alleged victim later that day and were told by her that she had gone with Ritter late Friday evening to a friend's house, where he drank heavily.

Ritter and the victim got into an argument upon returning home, during which he pushed her down and hit her in the face with his fist. He then strangled her, restricting her breathing for about a minute and a half. During this time she hit him in the face and he bit her on the hand and cheek. Once she was up, she went to the bathroom where he strangled her again only not as hard. The attack ended when another family member knocked on the bathroom door and told them to, "Knock it off."

Cole wrote that he, another Bennington Police officer, and two Vermont State Police troopers went to where Ritter works in Arlington to speak with him. He admitted to biting the woman, hitting her, and strangling her twice. He said he was sorry for hurting her.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.


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