LAND O'LAKES — A Tampa man frustrated over his separation with his wife rammed his way into her gated community, smashed through her door and assaulted her early Saturday morning, Pasco deputies said.
An arrest report gave this account:
Eric Garcia, 35, rammed his Dodge Charger through the front gate of the Oakstead community off State Road 54 just after midnight. He drove to a home on Bellehurst Loop, where his wife and son have lived since the couple separated last year, and broke his way in by smashing a statue into the front door frame.
Garcia confronted his wife, Allyson, in her bedroom and took her phone as she dialed 911. He left the house with the phone, but returned 10 minutes later and forced open the door his wife had locked herself behind.
Garcia punched his way through two bathroom doors, searching for her boyfriend. When Allyson Garcia, 32, stood in his way, he threw her against the walls, knocking off a picture frame and a ceramic towel holder.
Garcia let her go when a deputy arrived. The Garcias' son slept in a nearby bedroom. The report did not give the boy's age. Allyson Garcia's friend told deputies he hid in a bathroom during the attack.
Deputies said they found prescription medication and a knife tucked into Garcia's driver's side door. He denied ramming his way into the gated community, alleging instead that the gate "did not open fast enough."
Garcia was charged with two counts of criminal mischief, burglary with assault, burglary of an occupied dwelling and threatening a witness. He was released from jail Sunday on $31,000 bail.
Garcia told deputies he worked as a recruiter in Tampa for the Army. Representatives for the U.S. Army Recruiting Headquarters in Tampa and nationwide could not find Garcia in Florida recruiting rosters.
Contact Drew Harwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6244.