Sebastian man beats girlfriend, then holds knife against her throat

A man holds a knife against his girlfriend in Sebastian, Florida.
A man holds a knife against his girlfriend in Sebastian, Florida.

SEBASTIAN – Deputies responded to the 1200 block of Roseland Road Sunday at approximately 6:00 pm in reference to a disturbance and a knife being used inside the residence, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

“I observed the front door to be broken in and blood splatter tracks leading from the front door of the residence into the living room,” the deputy said.

William Joseph Brainard, 37, was taken into custody while deputies spoke with a female victim. Deputies said the victim had a “shut right eye with black and blue bruising,” according to the affidavit.

The victim told law enforcement that Brainard, her boyfriend of 11 months, entered the residence and accidentally sliced his finger while opening a compartment inside the refrigerator.

The victim said Brainard was “extremely intoxicated” so she asked him to leave at which point he “choked her and shoved her up against the kitchen counter,” the report said.

Brainard then exited the house, so she shut the front door and locked it. The victim then grabbed a kitchen knife in an attempt to defend herself from Brainard, the affidavit said.

Since he couldn’t get inside the home using the front door, Brainard cut the screen to the window to reach in and “backhanded” the female victim, causing bruising to her right eye, reports show. Brainard then kicked the front door in and took the victim to the ground while retrieving the knife. He then placed the knife to her throat while stating, “I will fu**ing kill you,” according to the report.

“It was at this point that [the victim’s] daughter entered the residence and observed William choking [the victim] with the knife to her throat,” the deputy said. The victim said she was losing consciousness when Brainard was choking her.

Brainard was arrested for battery by strangulation and transported to the Indian River County Jail. He has since been released after posting $11,000 bond.

In September 2018, Brainard was also arrested for Battery Domestic Violence against the same victim.

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 Scott Lee
Scott Lee is a columnist and reporter for Sebastian Daily. Scott moved to Indian River County in 2015 and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Currently, he writes part-time and manages a featured column about local businesses in Sebastian and Vero Beach.