A Lakeville man has been charged with strangling his girlfriend at a Burnsville gas station while he was intoxicated.
Navin Ramadhar, 25, is charged with domestic assault by strangulation, a felony with a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He is also charged with second-degree DWI, a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine, and misdemeanor domestic assault, which has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to a Burnsville gas station on Grand Avenue just after 10:30 p.m. Aug. 18 on a report of an assault in progress.
A witness told police that a man, later identified as Ramadhar, was choking a female passenger in his car.
When they arrived, officers found Ramadhar leaning inside the front passenger window of a car. They separated the two people, and the passenger told police that she didn’t feel safe.
The victim said she and Ramadhar have been dating for about six months, and they had been to dinner at a restaurant that evening. She said they began to argue about attending a party, and she asked Ramadhar to take her home, but he refused.
The victim was trying to send a text message to a friend to come and pick her up, and Ramadhar took her cell phone away, she told police.
When the two arrived at Ramadhar’s Lakeville home, the woman convinced him to take her home to Burnsville. During the drive, Ramadhar was driving erratically, speeding and swerving in and out of traffic; at one point, Ramadhar lost control of the car and hit a light pole on Interstate 35E before spinning into a ditch, the victim said.
Ramadhar got out of the ditch and pulled into a gas station to check on the damage to his car. When he got out of the car, she tried to use his cell phone to send a text message, but Ramadhar opened her door, yelled, “No, you can’t make a call!,” put his hands around her neck and choked her, the victim told police.
Police noticed that the victim’s right earring was missing and her left earring was broken as a result of the assault.
A witness told police that he saw Ramadhar choking the woman and heard him yelling at her.
Police detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from Ramadhar as they spoke to him, and noted that his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He admitted losing control of his car and landing in the ditch, but he denied arguing with the victim and denied assaulting her, saying he was trying to “calm her down” after the accident by wrapping his arms around her and hugging her, according to the complaint.
Ramadhar was given a breath test, which showed a blood-alcohol content of .12 percent. Officers reviewed his driving record, which showed that his license was revoked in 2010 and again in 2011.
Ramadhar has been released from custody on his promise to make all future court appearances, with the stipulations that he stay away from the victim and that he not use alcohol or illegal drugs. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Nov. 26 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.