Police: Assault, kidnap sparked by argument over phone

John Carter Collins III is accused of kidnapping and assault. (Source: LCDC)
John Carter Collins III is accused of kidnapping and assault. (Source: LCDC)

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - More details have been released regarding the arrest of a man accused of kidnapping and assault.

Police arrested John Carter Collins III on a list of charges including domestic violence-strangulation and kidnapping. Police said the incident began over a cell phone.

Officers said Collins and his girlfriend got into a fight over her phone, and that's when he started to attack her.

Investigators said the incident happened inside Collins' apartment at Courtview Towers. The victim claims Collins punched her several times in the face, and when she tried to get away, he used a belt to strangle her.

Police said he used twine material to tie her up and hold her against her will for several hours. They said the woman was able to break free and call police.

"We're very thankful she was able to get herself loose and contact police," said Cliff Billingsley with the Florence Police Department. "There's no telling what he might have done to her; she's very lucky to be alive today."

Local leaders said domestic violence-strangulation has only been considered a felony offense for the last three years. Rachel Cabaniss, the executive director of SafePlace, said she's pleased with the aggressiveness she has seen from law enforcement when it comes to this type of crime.

She describes strangulation as the ultimate act of control in domestic situations, which has the potential to turn deadly minutes or even hours after the attack.

"Strangulation is one of the most lethal domestic violence offenses because you can make someone unconscious within seconds and kill them within minutes," said Cabaniss. "The actual physical signs of someone being strangled are not so obvious, but someone can die within 24-36 hours after they've been strangled."

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you are urged to seek help immediately.

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