A Virginia man has been arrested after strangling a woman he met on an online dating site.
Alan Richard Schmitt, 77, met the 23-year-old woman on the dating website "Plenty of Fish," WAVY reported. They decided to meet in person on Oct. 24 at the woman's friend's home.
The homeowner said that she had never seen the man before.
“We only saw him when he was here the other day,” she told WAVY. “I didn’t get involved.”
The woman told police she turned Schmitt away after realizing he was older than she initially thought, but added that he convinced her to go with him to a mall.
Schmitt then bought the woman $400 worth of clothes before taking her back to her friend's place. There, Schmitt demanded that she return all of the clothes back to him, including the shirt she had on at the time.
“… she told him he could not have the shirt back … he grabbed her around the neck … he then threw her to the ground … and got on top of her … he proceeded to choke her causing her to struggle to breathe," the criminal complaint stated.
Police responded to an assault call. They arrived at the home around 10 p.m. The woman told officers her necklaces were torn off during the tussle.
"I observed her necklaces were in pieces, and there were small bleeding scratches around her neck,” Officer Jeffrey Cumming wrote.
The news station got in contact with the homeowner. They told her police said Schmitt had strangled a female at the residence.
“Yes, that is all I know. He strangled her, he choked her, and that was the end of it," the woman, who wished not to be identified, told the news station. "She is not coming back here, she is afraid.”
The criminal complaint also offered Schmitt's side of the story.
“He went to get the clothes back, they started to argue … (she) stepped in front of him and pushed him in his face … he lost his balance and reached out, grabbing (her) by the neck … he was unsure as to how she ended up on the ground as well," the complaint stated.
Schmitt was charged with one count of strangulation of another, the Daily Press reported. He will appear in court again on Nov. 14.
“I think it is terrible to do something to a person like that … any man who would strangle a woman should be dealt with,” a neighbor told WAVY.