A Missoula man accused of attacking his girlfriend after an argument has been charged under the new felony strangulation law enacted by the Legislature this year.
Ryan Joseph Taylor, 25, faces the felony strangulation count and a misdemeanor for tampering with a communication device after an incident over the weekend.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, police officers heard a woman yelling for help near the Scott Street bridge. The woman, who court documents describe as bleeding from her face, knee and hands, told police she had been assaulted by Taylor, who is her partner and the father of her son.
The couple had been arguing while walking down the road when Taylor yelled at her, after which she slapped him in the face, according to the court documents. The woman reported that after they started walking again, Taylor strangled her then punched her and knocked her to the ground. When she started to call 9-1-1, the woman said Taylor grabbed her phone and threw it across the street before running away when two bystanders came to intervene.
Taylor was found at his brother’s house, and officers noticed blood on his jeans. His brother told police that Taylor mentioned he had been in a fight with the woman, but didn’t know if it had become physical.
Taylor’s bail was set at $10,000 after his initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Monday.