Man Chokes Woman Behind Dumpster at Walgreens in Vero Beach

Michael James Bales of Vero Beach, Florida.
Michael James Bales of Vero Beach, Florida.

A homeless man was arrested Wednesday after choking a woman behind a dumpster at Walgreens in Vero Beach, Florida.

Vero Beach police received a call at approximately 4:30 p.m. about an unconscious woman behind the store. When officers arrived, they saw a man, identified as Michael James Bales, choking a woman, according to the affidavit.

“I observed the white male later identified as Michael Bales to have both of his hands tightly wrapped around the neck of the female,” the officer said.

“I further observed the female appear lifeless and unconscious,” the officer added. The woman had several lacerations to her face, and she was not moving, the report said.

Bales, 48, ignored all commands by police to stop choking the victim with both hands around the neck.

The officer grabbed Bales by the shoulders and threw him off the victim in an attempt to stop any further injuries to the woman. EMS arrived soon after to provide medical care and transport the woman to Cleveland Clinic in Vero Beach.

Bales told police that the woman, who is also homeless, is his girlfriend.

Bales was charged with Felony Battery Domestic Violence by Strangulation. As of Friday afternoon, he is still being held at the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office on $50,000 bond.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland. When he was age 9, his parents moved to Jupiter, Florida. Andy spent several years at various radio & television stations in Florida such as WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. In 1994, Andy made a career change to computer programming and worked for several technology companies (two are Fortune 500) in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2002. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.