Ludlow man held without bail for allegedly trying to strangle teenage girlfriend in downtown parking lot

Suspect has no prior criminal record

LUDLOW - Despite his lack of a prior criminal record, a 23-year-old Ludlow man was ordered held without bail Friday after he allegedly tried to strangle his teenage girlfriend Thursday afternoon within sight of the Ludlow Health Center.

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    Relatives from Windsor told the court they were willing to have Keith Destromp III stay with them while his case is pending but, after weighing that option, Judge Beth Mann declined to release Destromp saying she was concerned about what appeared to be an “escalating cycle of violence.”

    Destromp’s public defender entered innocent pleas on his behalf to four separate felony counts which included first degree aggravated domestic assault, kidnapping, and first degree unlawful restraint.

    Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill successfully argued against Destromp’s release by noting for the judge that the putative victim told investigators that “since November” she had been subjected to “20 or more” assaults that included instances of choking or strangulation.

    “What is really unique about this case is that Mr. Destromp engaged in this behavior…in the public sphere in the view of other witnesses which would indicate that he was losing control over himself because no rational person would have done what he is alleged to have done in broad daylight,” Cahill remarked to the judge.

    Ludlow Police Detective Sergeant Richard King said the woman reported that Thursday’s alleged assaults occurred during a violent argument that she escalated when she told Destromp she wanted to leave him.  The teen said she was trying to leave the apartment when Destromp allegedly put her in a headlock “and used so much force that she flipped over the couch.”

    She said Destromp later threw her on the floor again and, after she ran from the building, Destromp allegedly attacked her again in the parking lot, both hitting and choking her with both his hands around her neck while allegedly stating “I am going to kill you.”

    The woman told police that Destromp appeared “sad and mad at the same time” while he was choking her and she noted that she had been afraid she was going to lose consciousness.

    In an affidavit filed with the court, Detective King said at least one independent witness who was downtown near the intersection of Elm and Pleasant Streets at the time backed up the teen’s account of what had happened.  The detective also said the girl had a hoarse raspy voice during her interview and marks on her neck and her face that were consistent with having been strangled.

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