An 23-year-old Oak Harbor man is accused of beating, biting, strangling and burning his wife early in the morning of Nov. 23, according to court documents.
Prosecutors charged Joshua J. Lucas in Island County Superior Court Nov. 27 with four counts of assault in the second degree and one count of assault in the fourth degree. They were all domestic violence crimes.
Under the law, there are different actions that can result in a second-degree assault charge, most commonly involving strangulation.
In two of the charges, Lucas is accused of inflicting bodily harm “which by design causes such pain and agony as to be the equivalent of that produced by torture.”
According to a report by an Oak Harbor police officer, Lucas and his wife were at a downtown bar on the night of Nov. 26 and got into an argument; she slapped him and he punched her.
The woman reported that Lucas started hitting her when they arrived him in a vehicle. He pulled her hair, bit her on the leg and burned her on the forehead with a car cigarette lighter, the report states.
The woman was able to escape out the passenger door, but Lucas came around the car and started strangling her. A woman who had witnessed the assault said the victim started gurgling when being strangled. The witness intervened and Joshua pushed his wife into her, causing them to fall to the ground; the witness hit her head and elbow on the ground, which resulted in contusions, the report states.
The woman said Lucas took her phone and left.
The officer noted that the victim’s face was bruised and bloody. She had a round burn on her face and a broken nose. She had a large, dark bruises on her leg with teeth marks so deep they had started to bleed, the officer wrote.
The victim said Lucas had “choked her out” on previous occasions. She said she didn’t report it because he warned her nobody would believe her since he was in the Navy and she didn’t even have a GED.
Lucas had left before police officers arrived, and they contacted the Navy to help locate him. A friend said Lucas would be brought to the police department.
Lucas told the officers that his wife assaulted him, and he bit her to make her let him go. He pointed to scratches on his face, which the officer wrote were consistent with the woman’s story of defending herself.
Lucas denied burning, beating or strangling her. He said he had no explanations for the injuries on the woman’s face, the report states.
As he was being arrested, Lucas emptied his pockets, pulling out pink cell phone that belonged to his wife. He also pulled out a car cigarette lighter, which he tried to hide and pass to a friend, the officer wrote.
If convicted of the charges against him, Lucas could face up to four years and nine months in prison under the standard sentencing range.