Man arrested for attempting to strangle woman


An Idaho Falls man was arrested Tuesday after he reportedly attempted to strangle a woman who refused to have sex with him.  

Esteban Tafolla-Barrera, 47, called the victim around 9:49 p.m. Christmas Day wanting to talk. She entered his vehicle, intending to speak to Tafolla-Barrera in the car. Once she entered, Tafolla-Barrera began driving and ignoring the victim’s request to stop, according to court documents.

Tafolla-Barrera drove to the boat docks near the dog park on Lindsay Boulevard. The victim said Tafolla-Barrera was drinking during the drive, and he became angry when she refused to drink. Tafolla-Barrera then drove to his apartment and asked her to have sex with him. The victim repeatedly said no.

According to court documents, Tafolla-Barrera reached over and pulled the lever to recline the victim’s seat. He then got on top of the victim and began strangling her.

The victim said she felt a pop and her neck, and couldn’t see, but regained her sight when Tafolla-Barrera relieved some of the pressure on her neck. The victim then opened the door and kicked Tafolla-Barrera off of her. She ran to her cousin’s house, who gave the victim a ride home.

Both the victim and her cousin told police Tafolla-Barrera followed them in his own car on the drive to the victim’s house, and followed the victim’s cousin when she returned home.

The victim went to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center Tuesday for treatment, where she spoke with an Idaho Falls Police Department officer about the incident. The victim said she had previously been in a relationship with Tafolla-Barrera.

Court documents state the victim had red marks on her neck. Medical staff told the officer the victim’s injuries were consistent with her story.

Tafolla-Barrera admitted to choking the victim, but said she had tried to hit him first. He was booked into Bonneville County Jail.

Tafolla-Barrera was arraigned Wednesday, and his bond was set at $50,000. A no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.

A hearing for the no-contact order is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 10.

Attempted strangulation is punishable with up to 15 years in prison.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.