Michael Hinkel

Michael Hinkel

An Idaho Falls man was arrested Thursday after he reportedly hit and choked a pregnant woman.

Idaho Falls Police Department responded to Glen Koester Lane after the victim reported Michael Hinkel, 34, had attacked her. As police arrived on scene, they passed Hinkel driving the victim's car and detained him.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Hinkel became aggressive after the victim told him she was pregnant and wanted to put the child up for adoption. The victim told police she was uncomfortable raising a child with Hinkel, whom she said has a history of physical abuse.

Hinkel reportedly punched the victim in the face during an argument. The victim said she fell to the ground and Hinkel got on top of her. He reportedly started choking her by putting his hands around her neck.

The victim said she began "seeing stars" and hit Hinkel in the face to stop him from choking her. He then reportedly grabbed the victim by her hair and dragged her across the ground.

The victim said she escaped, grabbed her phone and called 911. She told police to meet her by her car.

She said Hinkel chased her, grabbed her and took the phone from her. He then reportedly attempted to force her into the car, but she refused.

Police saw Hinkel driving away and recognized the car by the description the victim had given. Hinkel told police they should hurry, saying, "They are fighting," apparently believing they would pass him to get to the scene. Officers, however, told Hinkel to stop. The affidavit states he later identified himself.

Hinkel denied punching, choking or dragging the victim by her hair, and said she had attacked him.

The victim said Hinkel had choked and hit her in the past, and said she was afraid he would kill her if she didn't get away from him.

Police observed swelling and cuts on the victim's face, and red marks on her neck.

A witness reported he had heard the two fighting but did not see it. A second witness said she saw Hinkel chasing the victim while she was on the phone.

While being taken to jail, Hinkel told officers that once he was released from jail, he would flee the state and travel to Mississippi.

Hinkel was charged with attempted strangulation, punishable with up to 15 years in prison, and felony domestic battery, punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

Hinkel's bond was set at $25,000 and a no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Bonneville County Courthouse.