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La Crosse County man charged with strangling woman, threatening her
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La Crosse County man charged with strangling woman, threatening her

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A La Crosse County man was in court Tuesday after he was accused of choking a woman twice during the past two months.

Jonathan Baum

Baum

Jonathan M. Baum, 24, was charged in La Crosse County Circuit Court with two counts of strangulation and suffocation, two counts of battery, two counts of disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping.

According to the complaint, police were called to Baum’s residence in the town of Medary about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. They arrived to find a woman sitting in a van outside in tears.

The woman told police she had brought Baum’s son for a visit that afternoon and Baum asked to see her phone, according to the criminal complaint. She refused, but Baum took her purse and dumped out the contents, taking her phone.

She said he was looking at something on her phone when the battery died and he became angry, punching her in the abdomen, head and face, according to the complaint. She tried to fight back, and he was able to put her in a choke hold. Baum squeezed until she could not talk or breathe, causing her to almost lose consciousness, the victim told police.

Baum then let go and called her several misogynistic slurs, then told her he was going to duct tape her mouth and put her in his trunk, according to the complaint. She ran and got into her car, locking the door and calling police. The woman told police she was scared to death that Baum would kill her, according to the complaint.

Baum had a very different story when speaking to authorities, according to the complaint.

He said the woman showed up at his home uninvited, went through his phone while he was in the bathroom, then attacked him. Baum also said he was on a video chat with another woman during the incident.

Police spoke to the other woman, who said she was talking to Baum when the victim arrived, attacked Baum, tore her own shirt and started doing donuts in her vehicle, according to the complaint. The report notes that the stories of Baum and the other woman do not quite match up.

During the investigation, two other women arrived to provide statements, both saying they were on the phone with Baum, according to the report.

During their interviews with police, they admitted Baum asked them to lie for him and say they witnessed the incident, when they had not, according to the complaint.

Baum was also charged in connection with a similar May 17 incident, in which he was accused of pushing the same woman against her vehicle and holding her there by her throat, grabbing her by the hair and slamming her head into the ground and punching her in the back of the head.

Baum was out of custody on a signature bond Tuesday and appeared via Zoom.

Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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