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West Plains man arrested on domestic charges

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steven J. Ford, 22, of West Plains, was arrested Jan. 7 for the class C felony of domestic assault of Michelle Morris and for the class B misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated after a woman apparently entered the Dollar General in Alton and was visibly hurt and bleeding, according to the Oregon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

According to Alton Police Chief Rusty Warren's probable cause statement, Warren was called to the Dollar General because of a report of a "female that had been beaten up."

Oregon County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Sorrel apprehended the person who allegedly did the beating at the Quick Connection across the street. The person identified himself as Steven Ford. Warren wrote he could "smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him."

Warren observed that Ford had a flat tire on his car and that the rim was worn enough to tell that it had been driven on for some time. "And in the back seat of the car were two children about 16 months and one about six weeks old," Warren wrote. "I then put him (Ford) in my patrol car and read him his rights and then I went to the dollar store and talked to the female who identified herself as Michelle Morris."

Morris "had a bloody mouth and red marks all over her face and was complaining of her back and neck hurting," according to Warren's description.

"She told me that they were going to Doniphan and their tire blew out on the car at Garfield," Warren wrote. "She stated that he was driving fast and all over the road, and she told him to slow down. She said that he stopped the car and hit her about six times and then started driving towards Alton. As they got to Alton, the car was sparking and smoking from driving on the rim, and she told him to pull over at the store. He then drove to the liquor store and pulled in, and he got out and opened her door and started hitting her several more times. She kept telling him to stop and he finally stopped and stepped back and then he kicked her a couple of times in the head and then grabbed her hair dragging her out of the car hitting her. He then got her down sitting on her hitting (her) in the head with his fist. He finally got up and she got up and ran to the (Dollar General Store) for help. He then drove the car to Quick Connection where he was trying to get gas when Deputy Sorrel pulled in."

Warren took Ford to the Thayer Police Department to conduct an alcohol test where Ford failed with an alcohol blood content of .184.

Warren booked Ford and put him in a cell. It was also discovered that Ford had warrants from Butler County for endangering the welfare of a child.

Ford's bond on the domestic charges is $4,900, and he was given a summons to appear in court on Jan. 27 for the DWI charge.

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