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Man is charged with attacking estranged wife

A domestic dispute ended with the arrest of a Port Richey man on charges of kidnapping and assault, according to court records. Joseph Lance Neeley, 27, of 9248 Glenmoor Lane, is accused of assaulting his estranged wife, Joan Marie Neeley, and her friend, Henry Haardt, and then kidnapping Haardt, sheriff's reports said.

Haardt was released unharmed after Neeley drove him around Spring Hill for a short time, according to reports. Neeley was charged Saturday with one count of kidnapping and two counts each of battery and aggravated assault. He was released after posting a $26,000 bail bond.

Sheriff's reports gave the following account of the incident, which occurred Friday:

Mrs. Neeley, 33, and Haardt, 26, arrived at her Spring Hill home on Friday evening and discovered Neeley waiting for them. He pulled Haardt out of the car by his hair and kicked him. He then told Haardt to stay away from Mrs. Neeley, who had been separated from her husband for about six weeks.

Neeley was armed with what Haardt and Neeley thought was a steel pipe but what deputies later discovered was a rubber club.

Neeley chased his wife and knocked her to the ground, before threatening to kill them if they did not break off their relationship.

Neeley got in his car to drive off, then ordered Haardt into the car. Haardt said he went because he was afraid of what Neeley would do and because it allowed Mrs. Neeley a chance to call for help.

Neeley released Haardt shortly thereafter, but that did not prevent him from calling Mrs. Neeley's residence four times, deputies reported. In one call, he said he was going to slit Haardt's throat, but he changed his mind.

Neeley told deputies he did drag Haardt out of the car by his hair and throw him to the ground, but he denied kidnapping him or attacking his wife, reports said.

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