At around 12:30 Wednesday morning, Missoula Police were called to the report of a disturbance in the 1500 block of Sherwood Street. According to Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh, the caller said that a male and a female were physically fighting next door.

“Officers responded and found a female sitting alone outside,” Welsh said. “The male had apparently left on foot to purchase alcohol. According to the female, the male, identified as 32-year-old James Johnson, is her boyfriend and he had been drinking all day. At one point, he started to break up furniture and throw things around the apartment.”

Welsh says the incident escalated when Johnson decided to attack the female victim.

“He grabbed her in what she described as a choke hold,” Welsh said. “He was holding on to a book that pressed against her throat and diminished her ability to breath. She was able to break away from him and hide in a laundry area, where she texted her neighbor. The neighbor then notified 911. A short time after the officers were there, Johnson returned to the residence and he was taken into custody.”

Johnson is being charged with strangulation of a partner or family member, which is a felony. Welsh says the female victim refused medical aid.