NEW PORT RICHEY — From the other end of the open phone line, emergency dispatchers heard a woman's voice pleading desperately.
"Please don't kill me!" the voice repeated. It was all they could make out.
They tracked the cellphone's location, and just after midnight Thursday, a trio of New Port Richey police officers went to a cluster of apartments on Main Street. The officers crept down hallways, pausing at every door, listening for the voice.
At apartment 201, they heard a woman's cries and burst into the apartment.
In a back bedroom, a report says, a bald man with a crooked smile and a goatee loomed over a woman who was crumpled and bleeding on the floor.
She would tell officers that Kraig Constantino had beaten, pistol-whipped and tried to strangle her for nearly six hours for standing too close to a black man.
This was the woman's account:
She had been seeing Constantino, 43, for a few months. She told officers she went to work that day across from his apartment at 5346 Main St. About 2 p.m. a shipment came in delivered by a black man whom she knew. She was showing him a cellphone picture of her dogs when Constantino walked in.
Using a racial slur, he screamed at her for "standing too close to that'' man and left. Then her phone erupted with texts and calls from Constantino threatening to burn her house down.
She got home to find her house pillaged and some things burned on the stove. Her .38-caliber revolver was missing.
Fearing Constantino would hurt himself, she went to his apartment, and he snatched her inside.
Fists hammered her face and head. He choked her unconscious. "I'm going to kill you," he told her, pressing the gun's muzzle against her stomach.
When she cried, he pistol whipped her hard enough to break her fingers, the bones sticking through skin.
She managed to dial 911 three times. Her screams summoned officers.
Constantino was booked on a host of charges, including kidnapping and attempted murder. He is being held without bail.
He has been involved in the court system for more than 20 years. He often chooses to represent himself, filling volumes of files with handwritten motions accusing judges, court reporters and attorneys of committing fraud and falsifying records.
For his most recent jail sentence, for aggravated battery, he was accused of beating and stabbing a man he suspected of trying to hit on his girlfriend.
Contact Alex Orlando at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6247.