Boyfriend Gets Red Nose on Christmas Eve After Being Bitten by Girlfriend

A Western Pennsylvania man forgot to stop at the store and pick up something for his girlfriend. What man hasn’t forgotten a birthday or anniversary? In this case, the oversight was just barbeque sauce. Maybe the sauce was for the roast beast that was cooking in the home for Christmas, and maybe the girlfriend was upset that she would be required to drive to the store to get the sauce and would thereby miss the first showing of the 24-hour marathon of a Christmas Story on TBS. Regardless of her reasoning, according to an online news article,  the girlfriend became a bit agitated and bit her boyfriend on the nose. At some point, the boyfriend struck the woman in the eye.

Arrests in Domestic Violence Cases

While I joke about the factual situation in this case, domestic violence assault cases are very serious. As a father of two girls, I am the first person to concede that I would be outraged if my daughters’ boyfriends or husbands physically hurt them someday. Pennsylvania law also takes domestic violence cases very seriously. For example, under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2711(a), and police officer is permitted to arrest a person suspected of committing a simple assault against a family or household member even if the officer did not see the attack occur as long as the officer observes a recent physical injury or other corroborating evidence.

After a person is arrested, he or she is charged and taken before a judge for a Preliminary Arraignment. At the Preliminary Arraignment, the judge sets bail, and bail in domestic violence cases is often set at a secured bail. A secured bail means that a person must pay the court collateral in order to be released during the pending criminal case. If the person cannot pay or post the bail, he or she is then held in jail until the case is resolved.

In this particular case, both the boyfriend and girlfriend were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor offense of Simple Assault and a summary offense of Harassment. The judge set bail at $5,000.00 secured, which means that the people were held in the county prison and will remain there until someone posts bail on their behalves or until bail is modified. It did not help either party that both of the assault participants have a relatively lengthy criminal history. Spending Christmas in the county prison is not anyone’s idea of a pleasant and memorable experience.