Husband allegedly strangles wife


A man allegedly choked his wife and hit her in the face in front of their 2-year-old daughter at their home in Tanapag last Thursday morning.

The alleged beating happened less than two weeks after Ivan Teigita Dela Cruz also reportedly hit his wife in the mouth, causing her front tooth to get loose.

Dela Cruz, 44, was arrested in Tanapag on Saturday afternoon for assault and battery and disturbing the peace. His bail was set last Friday at $10,000 cash; preliminary hearing is on Aug. 31 at 9am.

Assistant public defender Jamal Saleh was appointed counsel for Dela Cruz. Assistant attorney general Jonathan Wilberscheid appeared for the government.

Police detective Catherine B. Pangelinan said the victim called her and was crying on the phone last Thursday because her husband allegedly strangled her.

The victim told police that Dela Cruz had woken up angry, still smarting from an argument they had the night before. Dela Cruz allegedly said some profanities at the victim in front of their children. He then allegedly choked her. She ran to a car and, as she was backing out, Dela Cruz allegedly hit their car with a tree branch. Their 2-year-old daughter, who was in the car, was crying and shouting at her father to stop, but Dela Cruz allegedly went to the car’s front hood and punched it.

He then went to the driver’s side window and allegedly hit the victim’s face with his left hand, causing her to feel dizzy.

The victim disclosed that last Aug. 16, Dela Cruz also hit her in the mouth. As a result, her lower front tooth became loose. She said he also punched the back of her head.

The wife said she’s been calling the police several times in the past for help but Dela Cruz would manage to run off before the police’s arrival.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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