Bradenton man faces charges of strangling girlfriend, threatening her with a knife

MANATEE -- A 44-year-old man was arrested early Wednesday after he threatened his girlfriend with a knife and stepped on her neck so hard she couldn't breathe, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The incident happened about 12:30 a.m. at the couple's residence in the 4200 block of 76th Drive East, Bradenton.

John Babiarz and the woman had been arguing Tuesday about his drug habit. It turned physical when Babiarz punched the woman and demanded money so he could go to Tampa to buy pills, according to a news release.

When the woman refused, Babiarz grabbed a knife and threatened to "gut her like a pig." He then pushed the woman onto the bed and stepped on her throat, according to the sheriff's office.

He then forced the woman into the shower to try and clean blood from her face. She was able fight Babiarz off and escape outside and call 911. While outside, Babiarz chased the woman through a neighbor's yard, pleading for her not to call law enforcement, according to the report.

Responding deputies arrested Babiarz and took him to the Manatee County jail, where he was being held without bond on charges of robbery, domestic battery and domestic aggravated assault. He also faces a charge of violating his felony probation out of Sarasota County for grand theft.