Man allegedly chokes girlfriend over betel nut

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A man was arrested last week for allegedly choking his girlfriend when she did not have a betel nut mix when he asked her for some.

Michael Cabrera Sanchez, 41, is being charged with strangulation as well as assault and battery, and disturbing the peace after he allegedly choked his girlfriend over betel nut mix or “chew.”

Superior Court associate judge Joseph Camacho imposed a cash bail of $10,000 on Sanchez despite the objection of Sanchez’s defense lawyer, Doug Hartig.

He said the bail should be reduced because Sanchez is indigent, is not a flight risk, and has no prior convictions.

The bail amount was retained at $10,000.

Camacho scheduled Sanchez for a preliminary hearing on April 3, 2019 at 9am and an arraignment on April 8 at 9am.

According to court information, police responded on Tuesday at 10am to an alleged domestic violence report at Lao Market in Chalan Kanoa

The victim told police that her boyfriend, Sanchez, had just woken up that morning and asked her for cigarette and betel nut. When she told him she had none, Sanchez allegedly got mad at her and choked her for about two to three seconds in front of their two children. The victim told police she was breathing but barely.

Following the incident, Sanchez allegedly threw a shoe in the victim’s face when she said she’d call the police. The victim then went to Lao Market to call the police but Sanchez followed her and allegedly hung the phone up as the victim was talking to DPS dispatch.

The Lao Market manager told police that she heard the victim talking to DPS dispatch when Sanchez came in and grabbed the phone from her. The manager told police that she overheard Sanchez ask the victim, “Why are you calling the police, I was just asking for betel nut?”

Sanchez then left but the victim remained at the store. The manager said the police arrived after about five minutes.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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